N.Y. moves on, but not without caution

In bid to host 2012 games, city not rated as highly as Paris, Madrid, London

Olympics

May 19, 2004|By John Cherwa | John Cherwa,ORLANDO SENTINEL

New York moved both a step closer to and a step back from its bid to play host to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

At an announcement in Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced that the finalists are New York; Paris; Madrid, Spain; London; and Moscow.

Eliminated were Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Istanbul, Turkey; Havana; and Leipzig, Germany.

The technical report from which the finalists were selected did not rate New York as highly as three other cities. The report, which looks at factors such as infrastructure and security, rated Paris as the best place to host the games, followed by Madrid and London. Madrid, like New York, hasn't hosted the games. Rogge said Moscow's bid was not as strong as the others.

New York has 14 months to strengthen its bid. The announcement of the host city will come July 6, 2005, in Singapore. For the privilege of being a finalist, the New York committee has to give $500,000 to the IOC to help pay for future research and evaluation.

"We share today's achievement with the many thousands of New Yorkers who have actively participated in our bid," said Dan Doctoroff in a statement released by NYC2012. Doctoroff, who was in Lausanne, is the deputy mayor who has been heading New York's bid.

New York Gov. George Pataki also weighed in by statement. "New York City has unrivaled spirit and determination, and we also have a plan in place that will make our city an ideal Olympic host," he said.

Still, Paris is the city to beat. There is sentiment that it has failed in two recent attempts to host the games and has one coming. The games were last held there in 1924.

The IOC has been reticent to hold consecutive games too geographically close to each other. New York is bidding to host an Olympics that occur two years after Vancouver, British Columbia, hosts the 2010 Winter Games.

The New York committee counters by saying that 2004 Summer Games host Athens and 2006 Winter Games host Turin, Italy, are closer than New York and the Canadian city.

New York says it is not looking past the 2012 games, but IOC insiders believe the city has a better shot in 2016, if it wants to bid.

The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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