Greece to Host 2013 Mediterranean Games!

October 28, 2007

Greece will host the XVII Mediiterranean Games of 2013, with the joint bid by Volos and loannina amassing 37 votes against 34 votes for the Croatian city of Rijeka in a run-off vote on Saturday in the Italian city of Pescara, which will host the XVI Games in 2009. The third candidate city, Mersin in Turkey, was disqualified in the first round of voting with 13 votes, against 24 for Rijeka and 31 for Volos-Larisa.

In a press conference in Pescara shortly after announcement of the host city for the 2013 event, Mediterranean Games Bid Committee (DEMA) chief Isidoros Kouvelos said that the International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) and its 23 National Olympic Committee members "have entrusted the ambitious Greek proposal for up­grading the Mediterranean Games and assigned to Volos and Larisa the organisation of the 2013 Games".

He said that Greece waged a difficult battle for the Games, under adverse conditions, having commenced its campaigned many months after the other two candidate cities.

Kouvelos stressed that the goal was for the 2013 Games to acquire a strong prospect. "Our goal remains that of the 2013 Mediterranean Games attracting the top athletes and acquiring a strong prospect for the future, and at the same time serving as a connecting link for the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean turning it into a sea of peace, cooperation, culture and progress".

Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, Kouvelos' wife who was in Pescara for the voting, said that "the victory belongs to everyone... The Olympic spirit is alive".

"When we unite our forces, we achieve our goals. We succeeded in bringing the Games to Greece she said.

Hellenic Olympic Committee president and DEMA general secretary Minoas Kyriakos, together with the mayor of Volos, signed the protocol for the assumption of the Games during a special ceremory.

The Mediterranean Games, first held in 1951, are a multi-sport event held every four years, in the year following the Olympic Games.

Sometimes referred to as the "Mediterranean Olympics", the Games are held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with the participation of the countries--bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

(Posting date 5 December 2007)

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