|ESPN.com: Olympics||[Print without images]|
|Picking a Host|
On July 6, five cities bidding to host the 2012 Olympic Games will make their final presentations to the International Olympic Committee. Here's a look at each host city:
Thursday: New York
Alluding to that setback, and backed by a walking, talking Statue of Liberty, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a feisty Fourth of July pep talk in Singapore Monday on behalf of his city's bid -- saying an 11th-hour change in stadium plans was evidence of pluck and adaptability.
"New Yorkers have shown that when they get knocked down, they get back up," Bloomberg said. "We didn't drop out, we didn't cry about it."
America's Independence Day marked the first full day of lobbying in Singapore by Bloomberg, who was joined at a news conference by Olympic champions, President George Bush's personal representative, and a woman with green-painted skin dressed in a contest-winning Statue of Liberty costume.
Bloomberg said he hopes to convince undecided IOC delegates that a New York-based Summer Games would be an economic boost for the Olympic movement and international sports federations.
"America is the biggest sports market in the world -- it's a market that they have to approach,'' he said.
He also emphasized New York's ethnic diversity, saying, "We have our own Olympic Village every day in New York.''
After a day or so of despair when the three-member state committe turned down the stadium plan, New York officials devised a substitute plan for a cheaper stadium in the less-than-glamorous borough of Queens, and began depicting themselves as plucky long shots who could persevere through adversity."If the IOC wants a city with heart, a city that can overcome its differences, that can pull together during trying times and will do everything possible to host a great games, then New York meets that test," Bloomberg said when the Queens stadium plan was announced. Paris and London remain the favorites in the five-city field, but the quick recovery at least enabled New York to avoid embarrassment and make a final pitch for a bid that -- all along -- raised several persistent questions as well as the prospect of a truly spectacular games. On the plus side, New York boosters have accurately promoted their city as perhaps the most multinational of the contenders; its schools have children from 199 of the 202 nations that competed in the 2004 Olympics. "The World's Second Home" became one of the bid committee's slogans; its brochures promised that every country would enjoy home-field advantage. The plan proposed an imaginative mix of new and existing venues, arrayed in the shape of a giant 'X' across all five boroughs. Baseball would be played at famed Yankee Stadium, basketball at Madison Square Garden, the triathlon would circle through Central Park. Newly built venues would include a waterfront aquatics center in Brooklyn and a mountain biking course atop a sprawling landfill on Staten Island; athletes would be housed in 4,400 spacious new apartments across the East River from the United Nations.
|New York Facts|
Population: 8 million.
Previous Olympics: None.
Major sporting events hosted: U.S. Open tennis championship; New York Marathon; numerous baseball World Series and other professional league championships.
Pros: Cosmopolitan, multiethnic city; huge supply of hotel rooms; police force experienced in counterterrorism and handling international events; Big Apple has never had the games; symbolism of post-9/11 rebirth; effective campaign by bid leader and deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff.
Cons: Lower public support than in other contending cities; 11th-hour revision of bid after rejection of plan for Olympic stadium in Manhattan; North America has 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; anti-U.S. political sentiment; antipathy toward President Bush.
Status: Outside challenger.
Bookmaker Odds (William Hill): 25-1.