Contenders lay stress on compact 2012 Olympic Games


LONDON: Contenders for the 2012 Olympic Games launched their bids on Friday with the emphasis on compact and easily accessible venues. 

Favourites Paris and London promoted the attractions of their celebrated landmarks, Madrid promised an environmentally friendly Games while New York dubbed itself the “world city”. 

Moscow, Leipzig, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Havana have also submitted bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will select the winning candidate in July next year. 

In a presentation at the Eiffel Tower, Paris bid organisers said they would stage beach volleyball at the foot of the tower and host many of the events at two clusters on the edge of the French capital. 

“We have made a choice of compactness, quality of life, long-term development and what we will bequeath the Olympic Games,” Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe told a news conference. 

London organisers said they would hold the beach volleyball competition in Horse Guards Parade within sight of the Prime Minister’s residence. 

Seventeen sports, including athletics and swimming, would be staged at a new venue in London’s deprived East End. 

Madrid proposed a green Games, concentrating on public rather than private transport. 

“Respect for the environment governs all aspects of this project,” said mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon. 

“Madrid could celebrate the first Games without private transport.” 

Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding and NYC2012 founder, focused on New York’s energy, drive and spirit as he outlined a bid with every event within 30 km of the Olympic village. 

Labelling New York “a world city”, he said it was the city, not the United States, that was bidding for the Summer Games. 

There was no mention of the Sept 11 2001, attacks on the United States during the presentation. 

But officials said NYC2012 and the New York City Police Department had developed a comprehensive security plan. 

Moscow promised to stage “the best, most compact Olympics ever” with Russian deputy mayor Valery Shantsev saying the Russian capital had the necessary infrastructure and expertise to stage all sports, including yachting and soccer, within the city borders. 

Rio de Janeiro unveiled what it described as an historic bid, promising that all venues would be situated within a 26-km radius of each other. South America has never staged the Games. 

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