BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The man who led Rio de Janeiro's successful bid to host the 2016 Olympics has some advice for the 2020 bidders: Watch what you say.
Carlos Nuzman, the leader of Rio's bid seven years ago, told The Associated Press that the bids teams for Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo must pay extra attention to everything they do leading to Saturday's vote by International Olympic Committee members. A few misplaced words could prove decisive.
Nuzman, now president of Rio's local organizing committee, said there is no strong favorite among the three, so lobbying must continue.
"There will be a very small gap. ... It will be close," he said from the sidelines of the IOC meetings.
Nuzman said that at this stage it's easier for a city to lose the bid than win it. He added that bidders must avoid hurting themselves by reaching too far for an extra vote here and there.
"You have to work until the last moment," Nuzman said. "But you have to be careful with what you say, you have to be careful with how you act and how you try to get your message across."
In addition to choosing the 2020 host, the nearly 100 members gathered in Argentina will also elect the successor to IOC President Jacques Rogge, who is leaving after 12 years in charge. They also must decide whether wrestling, squash or baseball-softball will be added to the games' lineup.
Many on the bid campaigns have come to Nuzman, knowing that what he did seven years ago worked.
"They ask me to give them advice, to give them some guidance," Nuzman said. "But I have to tell them that I can't. Especially because we will want to work together with whichever city wins the bid."
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