With just eight weeks to go until the world learns who will host the 2020 Olympic Games, leading contenders Tokyo, Madrid, and Istanbul are making their pitches in private today to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland. But the real first look, an initial public offering of sorts, has arrived in video form. Each host committee has 45 minutes for a pitch behind closed doors at a convention center, then 45 minutes for a question-and-answer session with the ever-evolving IOC — plus a minute-long YouTube clip (below) to sway public opinion ahead of the official vote in Buenos Aires on September 7.
Istanbul, of course, is currently in the most delicate position of the three: While Turkey's largest city is bustling and would also become the first majority Muslim country to host the Olympics, it's also bustling with unrest in Taksim Square, made all the more complex today by a Turkish court's apparent decision to cancel the redevelopment of the park. IOC member Dick Pound explained the dilemma to The New York Times: "It is potentially a pity, since my impression, from what I hear, is that the 2020 race may be Istanbul's to lose."