Either every potential 2020 Olympic host city has done a fantastic job of wooing IOC with their plans, or the evaluation commission is keeping their true feelings under their hats while they prepare reports for the upcoming vote in Buenos Aires.
Still, IOC Vice President Craig Reedie said his group came away with an “excellent impression” of Istanbul after their four-day inspection of the city’s hosting capabilities, and said he witnessed “strong support” from the Turkish government, business community, and the country’s citizens.
The largest question mark during the visit was transportation, but Istanbul said it has $10 billion set aside for a third airport, a third bridge across the Bosphorus, new railways, and more roads to ease congestion, all of which they plan to do with or without the Olympics coming to town.
“Now we have a much better understanding of the tunnels, the metro, the buses [and] how people will be moved from one place to the other,” IOC executive director Gilbert Felli told the Associated Press. “We have a much better understanding of which projects have already started.”
Officials from Istanbul, Tokyo, Madrid will make one final pitch during an IOC meeting in St. Petersburg this May, before the members vote in September on which country to honor with the Olympics.
Amy Purdy made her name as a snowboardcross bronze medalist at the Sochi Paralympics and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.
In September, she’ll combine both.
Purdy will perform as a dancer in the Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Sept. 7, in addition to being an NBC reporter during the Games.
She was told her performance will be four to five minutes. On “Dancing with the Stars,” her performances were about 90 seconds, she said. She traveled to Rio for a week of rehearsals in July.
Purdy, 36, survived bacterial meningitis in 1999 but lost both her legs and later needed a kidney from her father at age 20.
“I’m most excited about the concept of this dance,” Purdy said. “Just the idea of man versus machine. A lot of times we feel really limited because of our prosthetics. But this dance, hopefully, will kind of shatter those borders a little bit and allow me to move my body in a way I haven’t done before.”
Purdy is an innovator. She built her own snowboard and is seen as instrumental in getting her sport into the Paralympic program beginning in 2014.
A model, she’s been in a Madonna music video, a Super Bowl commercial, ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and competed on “The Amazing Race” in 2012.
MORE: Rio Paralympic broadcast schedule
Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
From NBC Universal:
“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”
Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.
With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.
MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019