NEW YORK — Just three days before the International Olympic Committee is expected to decide which city will host the Summer Games in 2020, an expert familiar with the organization told The Huffington Post Wednesday evening that it seems increasingly likely the IOC will choose the Spanish capital of Madrid.
“To my astonishment, it seems like it’s going to be Madrid,” Wolfgang Maennig, a professor of economics at Hamburg University, told HuffPost.
Prior to Wednesday, some forecasters were giving a slight edge to Tokyo, seemingly playing down fears Japan might be experiencing elevated levels of radiation as a result of a 2011 nuclear disaster. Further bolstering that city’s case, Japan’s prime minister said early Monday he would fly to Buenos Aires to personally explain how radiation levels were not an issue for Tokyo. The Japanese Olympic delegation is already at the summit doing a full-court press to push Tokyo’s case. According to Reuters, the group “dangled dollar signs in front of the IOC” Wednesday, arguing that Japan is the most economically stable host country of all the candidates.
But fears of radiation remain, Maennig said.