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The Rivals


Sydney 2000 was the perfect Olympic event. Hugely exciting, well-run and competitive, the Kylie Games boosted Sydney’s reputation as a beautiful, sunny and hospitable resort.

So far nine cities have put themselves in the running for the 2012 Summer Olympics. International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, may see London as the frontrunner, but there are several serious rivals in the ring.  


The Outsider

Moscow 56:1

Moscow’s bid is an outsider despite a proven track record and the full backing of President Putin. The 1980 Moscow Olympics were marred by a US boycott and the imprisonment of thousands of dissidents before the Games. Russian officials are hoping the IOC might see 2012 as a chance to erase these painful memories. Russia's bid is now rapidly dropping down the field after a muted visit by the International Olympic Committee and renewed fears over Chechen terrorism. In particular, American competitors have voiced an unwillingness to put themselves in danger by traveling to Moscow.
Moscow 2012 website

The Pacesetters

Madrid – 14:1

Madrid’s well organised bid had huge support, and was the front-runner for months. The IOC had pledged that the proximity to Barcelona 1992 will not damage their chances. However Madrid's Bid has been seriously damaged by the racist taunting of English players during a football friendly and accusations of endemic racism, while unfair, have seen the odds against Madrid's bid lengthen considerably.
Madrid 2012 website 

A Long Shot

New York – 8:1

Many commentators saw New York as the sentimental choice in the wake of September 11. The spectacular bid features a huge development of sports facilities and transport links around Manhattan.
The IOC's relationship with the USA was soured by the awful Atlanta Games in 1996. While the IOC’s western leaders would love to see New York hosting a major event, the Committee includes Arab and African delegates who might block the USA. Odds against the USA are now lengthening. They have more pressing concerns than hosting the Games, and the War Against Terror threatens the security of major events in New York.
New York 2012 website   

Clear Favourites

Paris - 2:5 on
Paris’s bid is well planned, well priced and has the support of Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, his arch rival President Jacques Chirac and the nation, with 97% wanting the bid to succeed.
City Hall launched the bid on May 21st as the Multicoloured Games with the endorsement of Muslim football legend Zinedine Zidane, playing on the power of sport to unite and harmonise people of all creeds and races. Paris is now massive favourite with the bookies to host the Games - their coherent, popular bid was matched by massive popular support and the IOC were delighted with their visit. 
Paris 2012 website

Ahead of the field

London - 4:1

London is no longer bookies favourite as Paris have surged to become odds-on for the Games. Our bid is coherent and well planned but lacks the flair or massive popularity of the French plan. 
It has been years since Britain last held the Games in 1948 and the success of 2002’s Commonwealth Games in Manchester boosted the government’s credibility.
The only stumbling blocks facing London are the questions of transport and finance.  The government has recently got behind the bid in a big way, but is this a cynical ploy by politicians convinced they will never have to pay for a London Olympics? Everything hinges on the IOC's appraisal of how serious we are about the Games and the public are now backing the bid in their thousands each day.
London 2012 website

2012 London Olympics

2012 Olympic History

The Olympic Games were the brainchild of Lycourgos, King of Sparta. In 776 BC he was drawn into a treaty with Ifitos and Cleisthen...

2012 Olympic History

2012 Olympic Timeline

  02 Nov 2002 - United States Olympic Committee elects New York as its 2012 candidate.   11 Dec 2002 – Britain rumour...

2012 Olympic Timeline

2012 The Cost

Can London afford the Olympics?That is the question plaguing the minds of ministers and Londoners alike. Culture Secretary Tessa...

2012 The Cost

2012 The East End

One of London’s most deprived areas is now guaranteed to receive a massive boost in terms of regeneration, thanks t...

2012 The East End
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