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New York, San Francisco Win Close Vote

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Charles H. Moore, head of the USOC’s bid evaluation task force said the U.S. 2012 candidate race was close, but that New York and San Francisco made the cut because of their “international lure”. He said, “in the end we chose the best bid that has the best chance to win. It did come down to international strategy appeal and the financial capability for a city to manage and execute their program”.

Moore added, “we are very confident we will bring the Games to the U.S. in 2012”.

Dan Doctoroff, New York’s deputy mayor for economic development and former head of NYC 2012 said, “New York offers the Olympic movement the chance to tell a powerful Olympic story. It represents the best of what the Olympics is all about, an international city where various nationalities interact peacefully every day”.

Of Washington’s elimination, Dan Knise, president of Washington DC 2012 said, “yes, we were surprised. Maybe shocked is the right word, and clearly disappointed. We put forth a great bid and we can hold our heads high”.

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “it is an honour for New York City to be selected. Bringing the Olympic Games to the ‘World’s Second Home’ would celebrate our unequaled diversity and participants from every nation would feel welcome. Today’s selection is a tribute to enormous support the bid has received from all New Yorkers and the tireless efforts of the thousands who have worked to make our Olympic vision into a reality”.

Moore said the decision to select San Francisco and New York wasn’t unanimous, but Moore said there was a consensus. He would not reveal either the scores or the final vote.

“We feel very good about the two cities”, he said, and we feel crushed for the other two cities”.

Though New York still needs to build or renovate many of its venues, Moore said it got high marks for its infrastructure.

San Francisco’s weather, waterfront and scenic vistas were the strong points of its bid. Organizers hope to use the Golden Gate Bridge as a signature emblem, the way Sydney’s Opera House was used during the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Moore said, “what’s not to be impressed about San Francisco”.

San Francisco 2012 organizers reorganized their plan over the last few months and moved several sites. Now 92 per cent of the venues would be within 32 miles of the Olympic Village.

Moore said, “when they came to their ‘Ring of Gold’ that really helped”, said Moore.

One of the disadvantages of a San Francisco bid is that the region must overcome its freeway congestion and venues spread too far for athletes.

San Francisco’s chances were enhanced by letters of endorsement from 14 former or current U.S. Olympic swim and track and field coaches.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that the Salt Lake City scandal might have hurt Washington, which most considered to be one of the two finalists.

Also, whichever city is selected, the U.S. entrant might be a long shot, according to AP. IOC members might have some lingering resentment from the Congressional hearings in the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.

Moore admitted that the task force considered that. “We tried not to get hung up on that. We had to look at what Washington could do and how it could reach out”. Write or read comments about this article

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