Leipzig confident of Olympics
5 March 2004
BERLIN – The German city of Leipzig is confident of being on the list of official candidates to host the 2012 summer Olympic Games when the names are announced in May.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will on 18 May choose its official candidates from nine cities which have entered the ring, with the current list perhaps being whittled down to five.
“The support and sympathy for the Leipzig bid is increasing. I am confident that we will cross the first hurdle,” Interior Minister Otto Schily said Tuesday after a meeting of the Leipzig Olympic bid’s supervisory board.
Leipzig is regarded as one of the outsiders competing against the likes of Paris, London, New York, Moscow, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Havana and Istanbul.
But Leipzig authorities believe last week’s meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees in Athens and indications from the IOC they would prefer a more scaled-down Games have boosted the city’s chances.
Peter Zuehlsdorff, director of the Leipzig 2012 bid committee, said: “Leipzig has a good chance of surviving 18 May in view of (the wish for) smaller but more perfect Games.”
Leipzig mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee said the call by IOC president Jacques Rogge for the Olympics to move back from the trend for ever- larger Games was a good sign for Leipzig.
“From this I conclude that a corridor has been opened from megacities to cities like Leipzig and Rostock (sailing venue),” he said.
Rogge is due to visit Leipzig in April before the IOC meeting in Lausanne to choose its official candidate list based on questionnaires provided by the bid cities in January.
Although the IOC usually draws up a shortlist of candidates it is still by no means certain that it will discard any of the bid cities.
Reports have said the IOC may decide the nine are so strong that all of them could be in the final vote by the 125 IOC members at Singapore on 6 July 2005.
Subject: German news