Crisis-hit Madrid defends 2020 Olympic bid

Updated 09 January 2013
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Crisis-hit Madrid defends 2020 Olympic bid

MADRID: Spain on Tuesday defended a 1.7-billion-euro ($2.2-billion) bid to host the Olympics in Madrid in 2020 even as the country battles a recession and high unemployment while slashing spending.
Spain’s delegation submitted the 360-page bid document to the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.
If Madrid beats favorites Tokyo and rival Istanbul, it estimates it would have to invest another 1.7 billion euros to complete the infrastructure for the games.
The budget is “austere and responsible,” Education, Culture and Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert told a news conference in Madrid.
“With austerity as the rule, I have no doubt the returns will be positive,” he said.
Wert insisted, too, that Spain’s record in cracking down on doping in sports would not harm its bid.
“The effort Spain is making in the anti-doping battle must be recognized,” the sports minister said.
The World Anti-Doping Agency on December 21 suspended a Madrid anti-doping laboratory for an alleged error in handling a test, which led to the result being invalidated.
“This is not about a manipulation or ill intent. It is a technical problem about which the Spanish agency did not even have to make a statement — nevertheless it did,” he said.
Wert was asked, too, about a trial due to open this month over a doping network focused on cyclists that was broken up by police in 2006. No suspect targeted in the police operation, known as Operation Puerto, has yet faced a criminal court.
“The level of commitment of the Spanish anti-doping agency is without a blemish and Spain is in line with international organizations in doping matters,” the minister said.
Madrid will find out in September this year whether it has been chosen to host the Games, after finishing third for the 2012 and second for the 2016 editions.
Bid promoters, including Alejandro Blanco, head of the Spanish Olympic Committee, stressed that 28 of the 35 venues have already been built.
Of the seven remaining venues, only four including the Olympic Stadium would be permanent, requiring bigger investments than the other three temporary constructions.
Asked whether it was a good idea to be committing Spain to such spending when the state is cutting health and education budgets, Madrid regional government chief Ignacio Gonzalez said much of the investment would be financed by public-private partnerships.
Squeezed by a recession that began in mid-2011 and by an unemployment rate that has shot to 25 percent, Spain’s authorities say they believe the Games can create jobs and lure tourists.
The bid team touted the 2012 London Games as an example of the economic benefits of being a host city.
According to Gonzalez, the London Games created 50,000 jobs, of which tens of thousands were permanent.
Madrid city mayor Ana Botella was part of the delegation in Lausanne the previous day.
“It is a project the whole country is behind and a dream for all Spaniards,” she said.
“The proof can be seen in the fact that three levels of government are represented here — the city, the regional and the national.
“We are here to give our support to the countless people who are working for and believe in Madrid’s Olympic aspirations.”


LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers blocks a dunk by Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics during Game Seven of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
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LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

  • In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
  • The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State.

BOSTON: With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not miss. He would not sit out. And he would not be denied an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
The four-time league MVP scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Celtics and eliminating Boston from the Eastern Conference finals in the decisive seventh game.
In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 24 for Boston, which was looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Al Horford scored 17 points and Marcus Morris added 14 with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who led 72-71 with six minutes remaining before the Cavaliers scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull away.
James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy.
It’s not the one they want.
James had to do it without Kevin Love — Cleveland’s only other all-star — who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. Making his first start since the first-round opener against Indiana, Green scored 19 points and added eight rebounds — the star of James’ starless supporting cast.
The Celtics have had more time to get used to their injuries: Gordon Hayward has been out since the first game of the season, and Kyrie Irving has been sidelined since March. With the rookie Tatum and second-year Jaylen Brown, Boston established itself as the team of the future in the East.
But the present still belongs to James.
And, for now, that means Cleveland, too.

TIP-INS
Cavaliers: Shot just 2 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half. They made three of their first 22 shots before James and Green connected on back-to-back attempts midway through the third quarter.
Celtics: Paul Pierce, whose number was retired by the Celtics this season, cheered the team on from courtside. ... Rapper 21 Savage was also at the game. ... Boston was 7 for 39 from 3-point range, with Terry Rozier missing all 10 of his attempts.