USOC moves up decision on two finalist cities

Bid task force will make its choices late this month

August 01, 2002|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

The United States Olympic Committee announced yesterday that it has pushed up the date for cutting the finalist cities from four to two in the race to be U.S. candidate for the 2012 Olympics.

The Bid Evaluation Task Force will make the decision Aug. 27 at a meeting in Chicago, instead of in September.

"I think we've presented a very strong case for how we can win at the international level," said Dan Knise, president and chief executive of the Chesapeake Region 2012 Coalition, the Washington-Baltimore bid organizers. "And that is the ultimate test. While I think we've done a great job, who knows what will happen. I'll have butterflies in my stomach right until the very end."

San Francisco, Houston and New York are challenging Washington-Baltimore for the Games.

If the local bid survives the cut, organizers would make their final pitch for the region in a 100-page document, bolstered by a 10-minute video, by Oct. 1. Then, representatives of the two finalist cities would make presentations Nov. 2 and 3 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the USOC Board of Directors would name a winner.

The winning U.S. city will enter the international competition, which might include bids from London, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Istanbul, Turkey, and cities in South America and South Africa. The International Olympic Committee is to choose a site for the 2012 Games in 2005.

When the USOC site selection team visited in June, members gave the local bid high marks for a new plan that would position sports previously planned for venues in Virginia and Maryland at a multipurpose Olympic park on 80 acres near the Anacostia waterfront. Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, now on the site, would be razed.

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