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IOC Member Assesses Olympic Bids

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A senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, in an interview with AFP, said that Chicago is the favourite to win the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Munich could win the right to host the 2018 Winter Games, and Singapore is a favourite for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

According to the IOC member, while PyeongChang is bidding for a third successive time for the 2016 Games, the sheer force of IOC vice president Thomas Bach could swing the vote to Munich. He said, “PyeongChang bidding for a third time is a big gamble as the selling point of bringing peace to the peninsula (between North and South Korea) will start to sound a bit like a stuck record. However, on their side Europe will have hosted it in 2014, but with China thinking of launching a bid they may not end up as Asia’s leading bidder.

“Asia, though, does only have a limited amount of places where the Winter Games can be hosted, and PyeongChang definitely is one of them”.

AFP reports that the IOC member believes that because Sochi is hosting the 2014 Winter Games it could override Bach’s lobbying for Munich even if the Swiss city of Geneva decides to enter the race as it may, depending on popular reaction. He added, “Thomas Bach is a very smart operator. He is a top lawyer and a very good personality. Also, he will want to bring Munich the Games to cement his image as being the favourite to replace Jacques Rogge as IOC president in 2013”.

The IOC member called Chicago a “hot favourite” to win the 2016 Summer Games and said only they can mess it up. He said “they are streets ahead of their rivals. They have been the frontrunners since day one and nothing has as yet changed my mind that they can lose. However, as the saying goes ‘it is theirs to lose’”.

But he cautioned that despite initial reservations, Rid de Janeiro could be the dark horse even if Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup. He admitted, “the organization of last year’s Pan American Games (in Rio) were not the best.

“Also there was a feeling that having secured the World Cup that IOC members would not feel keen to award them the 2016 Olympics because of their style. They do not want to feel that they are the dessert coming after the main course.

“Nevertheless Carlos Guzman (Brazilian IOC member) told me that there was no question of Rio letting up and they would be going all out for victory. He should not be underestimated as he is a formidable and well liked character”.

He called Tokyo’s chances of winning the Games negligible. “With Beijing hosting this year’s Games and the decision for 2016 to be taken in 2009 – just a year after China is host – it is highly unlikely that IOC members will favour a return so soon to Asia”.

But despite Rio’s surge the IOC member believes that the decision will boil down to one thing should the two frontrunners be neck and neck – the head of state of the country.

It is believed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin played a big role in their countries winning the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

The IOC member had some thoughts about the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The member told AFP Singapore should prevail in the race. He said while Bangkok could be eliminated as a viable candidate, Singapore fits the bill as host because it is probably not capable of hosting senior Olympic Games. On that basis it should rule out Athens, Moscow and Turin, all cities that have already hosted Olympic Games. Write or read comments about this article

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