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  • Bidding for the Games -- Bali, Monaco and Beyond


    The 2016 cities are in Bali for the next few days for the Olympic Council of Asia general assembly.
    Bali, Monaco Destinations for 2016 Bids

    The Indonesian island of Bali and the principality of Monaco are the exotic locales where leaders of the bids for the 2016 Olympics will find themselves in the next week.

    Bali is the venue for the Olympic Council of Asia's annual general assembly, which includes presentations from the four candidate cities on Oct. 21. The appearances by the cities follow last week’s in Acapulco for the Pan Am Sports Organization. Next month, the cities go to Istanbul for the European Olympic Committees meeting.

    Tokyo, the only Asian city in the 2016 race, will be able to have a delegation that includes its NOC leaders as well as members of the bid team, an advantage taken in Acapulco by the two bids from the PASO region, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.

    The presentations, lasting 15 minutes, are expected to undergo some fine tuning from the Acapulco briefings. For one thing, that means English, not Spanish for Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, the language both relied upon to communicate with the PASO delegates.

    Small teams from the 2016 cities will also travel to Monaco for Sportel, the annual trade show for TV sports programming. No presentations from cities will be made and neither will the cities have exhibit space at the Grimaldi Forum convention center.

    Chicago Gets Short Straw from PASO President's Newspaper

    Judging from the coverage in El Sol de Mexico, the national newspaper owned by PASO President Mario Vazquez Rana’s company OEM, Chicago 2016 had little to say during its 20-minute presentation to PASO Oct. 11.

    An article in the newspaper a day later included several paragraphs on three cities that featured details of their presentations, including quotes from the speakers.

    Chicago rated only a single line mention, the next to last sentence in the story. Besides slighting Chicago with this bare mention, the single sentence reported that the U.S. bid presentation had a Latin feel to it, a gross mischaracterization of the presentation.

    Vazquez Rana did not respond by the time of this report for comment on how his newspaper delivered such an imbalanced report.

    Chirac Likes Tokyo Bid

    Tokyo's candidacy to host the 2016 Games received support from an unlikely source: former French President Jacques Chirac.

    "I hope that the city of Tokyo succeeds in its campaign to have the Olympic Games in 2016," said Chirac, speaking Tuesday at a function at the French embassy in the Japanese capital.

    "I am certain that the Games will find here in Tokyo a fertile ground to send to the world a message of harmony and solidarity."

    Chirac was France's president when Paris failed in its bid to stage the 2012 Games, losing to London by just four votes at the Singapore IOC Session in 2005.

    Madrid Seeks to Combat Racism Issue

    The leader of Madrid 2016 told Around the Rings the bid is working with the country's football authorities to stamp out racist incidents
    Madrid 2016 CEO Mercedes Coghen. (ATR)
    that she has admitted could hurt the city's Olympic campaign.

    "We have to work to teach people about racism," said Mercedes Coghen, emphasizing that Madrid's bid is "always thinking about diversity and inclusiveness."

    Coghen pointed to the work of the Spanish Olympic Committee and its anti-racism campaign launched earlier this year for proof that sport is tackling the issue, but noted that Spanish football has a particular problem that must be addressed.

    Earlier this week, Coghen voiced concerns about racist incidents in Spanish football after UEFA slapped a two-match home ban on Atletico Madrid following violent and racist behavior by its fans during a match against Marseille earlier this month. UEFA has since suspended the ban following an appeal by the Spanish side.

    On Monday, the English Football Association announced its reluctance to play a February 2009 friendly against Spain in Madrid over fears that racism may taint the occasion. The last time England played in the city in 2004, sections of the crowd at the Bernabeu stadium subjected the team’s black players to racist
    Rio 2016 chief Carlos Nuzman and international relations chief Mario Cilenti in Pune, India. Other 2016 cities also sent representatives to the Commonwealth Youth Games. (Rio 2016)

    The Atletico Madrid row is the latest racist incident to trouble Coghen and her team as the bid campaign worked to gain momentum on the road to the IOC vote in Copenhagen next October.

    During the Beijing Olympics, slit-eyed gestures were made by Spanish basketball players posing for an advert for sponsors Seur, a Spanish courier company. The gesture is considered offensive by the Chinese.

    At the time, Coghen told ATR it was an isolated incident, a "misunderstanding" that would not affect Madrid's Olympic bid.

    Rogge Says He Expects India Olympic bid

    IOC President Jacques Rogge said a successful 2010 Commonwealth Games in India will be a major step forward in its quest to host the 2020 Olympics.

    "I am sure that if India bids then it will be very solid and comprehensive. I have no doubt about that," Rogge was quoted in Indian media.

    He was speaking at a press conference in the Chattrapati Shivaji Games Village at Balewadi in Pune where he joined Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi for the launch of the Olympic Values Education Program and Indian National Club Games.

    "India has successfully hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and in 1982 and then the Afro Asian Games in 2003. Now they are hosting Commonwealth Youth Games and in two years time they will host the Commonwealth Games. And I know Kalmadi is now thinking about 2020," he said.

    Rogge praised the infrastructure for the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 but said that staging an Olympics would be on a different scale, which needed to be taken into consideration.

    Written by Ed Hula and Mark Bisson.

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