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Beijing Seriously Bids For 2008 Olympic

Posted July. 12, 2001 20:24,   


With opening of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) general conference closely approaching, which will determine the 2008 Olympic host city in the night of 13th (Korean time), the last minute competition among five candidate cities is getting fierce.

In the midst of the IOC members` cautious shrinking due to the bribe scandal related with the selection of the 2002 Winter Olympic host city, Beijing (China), Paris (France), and Toronto (Canada) are rising as strong finalist cities, while Osaka (Japan) and Istanbul (Turkey) seem to be giving up their bid.

The city that has successfully taken the initiative is Beijing. China, with its Olympic invitation committee members setting up a base-camp in Moscow with their world star athletes, the NBA player Wang Zhizhi and the Chinese American tennis star Michael Chang, has been greatly encouraged by the German IOC President Walther Troeger’s supporting speech on 12th.

Finding itself in a difficult situation by opposition of the English IOC member Princess Ann pointing out the issue of Tibet detention and the human rights, Beijing has been relieved by the support of Germany. President Troeger showed his intention of support by saying, ``Through the Olympic, China can be more rapidly open and internationalized.``

The American IOC president Mitt Romney, also the chairman of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Committee, supported Beijing by urging IOC members not to be inclined with political issues. Worldly renowned IOC sponsor companies also seemed to be supporting China not to loose the world biggest market.

Paris and Toronto, off on the periphery, seem to be inferior comparing to Beijing, although they were trying their best to derogate China by divulging the issue of the human rights.

With the well-equipped infra-structure of facilities and the experience as two time Olympic host, Paris is contending for the last minute reversal victory. Standing for the environment-friendly Olympic and backed up by the NBC, the largest sponsor of the IOC, Toronto is doing their best to pull in the last minute victory as well.

Paris hurriedly sent the Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and soccer superstar Zinedine Zidane to Moscow, and Toronto also placed 25 Canadian Olympic stars including Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic champion at 100 meters, as their campaign models.

However, if Paris hosts the Olympic, it is going to be the second consecutive European cities as Olympic host following Athens. For Toronto, the biggest stumbling block is the tacit opposition by the U.S. which is also preparing to host the 2012 Olympic.

Zang Hwan-Soo zangpabo@donga.com