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New Bid Presentation Session


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IOC to offer 2016 Olympic bid cities a special meeting to make their case

BEIJING — The cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympics will get an extra opportunity to make their case to the IOC a few months before next year's final vote.

The International Olympic Committee executive board approved the change Friday in an effort to give the cities a greater chance to explain their bids to the members.

Seven cities are currently in contention - Chicago; Tokyo; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Madrid, Spain; Doha, Qatar; Prague, Czech Republic; and Baku, Azerbaijan.

The IOC board will reduce the field to an undetermined number of finalists in June. The vote on the host city will take place at the IOC assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2009.

The IOC decided Friday to organize a special meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the spring of 2009 at which the finalists will present their bids to the members.

The meeting, possibly in April, will last a day or two.

"What we will do is to offer to the candidates a better opportunity to meet with IOC members and explain their bid and their projects," IOC president Jacques Rogge said.

He said the move was part of a "fine-tuning" of the bid process. He did not give details of any other changes.

Under current rules, bid cities have only one chance to present to the full IOC - on the day of the vote itself.

Ever since the Salt Lake City corruption scandal, IOC members have been barred from visiting bid cities and contact between the two sides has been controlled by tight restrictions.

Bid cities have been pushing for more chances to present their cases to the IOC. And many members say they need more firsthand information in order to make an educated choice on the host cities.

Not a bad idea.

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With this extra exposure program, the Short List will at least be 4. If there would only be 3, I don't think it's worth this extra session. So Rio can count itself in at this point.

So does that mean a majority of delegates will be coming to Lausanne for something -- and then convene again in Denmark in October? That is highly unusual.

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I am not too keen on the idea. This will cost the candidate cities bucket of money and I am not sure most of the IOC members will want to gather in Lausanne a few months ahead of Copenhagen just for the sake of listening to the candidate cities pitch...

I mean how different could that be from the actual session?

I have always stated that the solution would be to reinstate the candidate cities visit but by group, organized, paid for and monitored by the IOC.

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With this extra exposure program, the Short List will at least be 4. If there would only be 3, I don't think it's worth this extra session. So Rio can count itself in at this point.

So does that mean a majority of delegates will be coming to Lausanne for something -- and then convene again in Denmark in October? That is highly unusual.

Like you say, Baron, they have to keep their frequent flier miles current! God forbid they don't get upgraded or have access the elite lounge! :-P

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