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  • On the Scene -- Olympic Hopefuls Seek Wisdom in Lausanne


    More than 85 delegates are present in Lausanne for the IOC's bid seminar. (ATR)
    (ATR) The secrets to winning an Olympic bid could be revealed this week in Lausanne.

    More than 85 delegates from 25 nations are taking part in a two-day seminar hosted by the IOC to give cities the information they need to launch Olympic bids.

    This first-ever seminar of its kind has attracted 13 cities interested in summer or winter bids as well as 12 with an eye on hosting a Youth Olympic Games. Six of the cities are the applicants for the 2020 Olympics, the campaign for which is already underway.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge said the attendance at the seminar is much greater than he expected. He said the event demonstrates how the IOC works with bid cities.

    “The IOC wants to offer a partnership to the bidding and the organizing cities. And the partnership is one where we offer first of all the great expertise,” said Rogge in opening remarks at the Olympic Museum, venue for the gathering.

    Jacques Rogge said the seminar's attendance surpassed his expectations. (ATR)
    “The IOC offers a true partnership because we do not award the Games and wait for seven years for you to deliver the Games. No, we work closely with our transfer of knowledge. The experience of the past also works for the future organizers so as not to reinvent the wheel and not to take shortcuts that are often very expensive and a waste of time,” he said.

    The meeting includes presentations from leaders of successful Olympic bids such as London 2012’s Sebastian Coe, Carlos Nuzman of Rio 2016 and Dmitry Chernyshenko of Sochi 2014.

    Besides bidding, delegates will hear from experts about what it means to host the Olympic Games. Rio de Janerio Mayor Eduardo Paes will explain what his city is doing to capture an Olympic legacy.

    The Bidding for the Games seminar is organized by the IOC Olympic Games Knowledge Services department and costs 500 Swiss francs per person to attend.

    Along with the 2020 bidders, delegates linked to possible Olympic bids from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the U.S. are here.

    Sebastian Coe and Singaporean IOC member Ser Miang Ng. (ATR)
    The U.S. cities include Los Angeles, Reno/Tahoe and Denver. A delegation is also here from North Carolina, interested in a Youth Olympics bid.

    The seminar ending Wednesday will be followed by a two-day seminar specifically for the six 2020 applicants.

    Delegates from Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo will receive intensive briefings Thursday and Friday at IOC headquarters. The cities will also take part in unilateral briefings with IOC staff and experts to confidentially discuss aspects of the bids they are preparing. This seminar is meant to put the cities on the right track toward completing the questionnaire due at the IOC in February.

    Containing the broad technical, organizational and financial details of each bid, the responses from the questionnaire will be used to determine next May which of the six make the final list of candidate cities.

    Written and reported in Lausanne by Ed Hula

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