Rio’s choice opens door for Africa, MunichOctober 4th, 2009 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS
Copenhagen, Oct 4 (DPA) The selection of Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics was not only good news for South America, but for various future bidders as well.
Rio was still celebrating when the Munich committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics announced that “the fight for Munich is starting in earnest.”
The IOC member and world football supremo Joseph Blatter said that a good hosting of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could open the door for Africa as well on the Olympic stage after Rio’s choice.
Universality and geopolitics are the key words in this respect in the Bella Center in Copenhagen.
Several Olympians said that Rio’s victory over Madrid, Tokyo and the Barack Obama-backed Chicago was a step into the Olympic future, and possibly away from gigantism which allowed only rich nations to stage the Games.
“The demands placed on a city in order to host Olympic Games today is on the edge of being unrealistic,” said Swedish IOC member Gunilla Lindberg.
“The Olympic Movement is promoting universality and we should find a system that makes the Olympic dream real for more cities around the world.”
With Rio now picked, Africa remains the only unchartered Olympic territory. Cape Town came third in the bid for the 2004 Games which went to Athens. Cairo missed the cut for 2008 staged in Beijing.
Blatter told DPA Sunday that “South Africa or Egypt” would also be the natural candidates for African bids, with South Africa holding an edge if it manages to organize the 2010 World Cup well.
“A country which organizes a World Cup can also organize Olympic Games. The Olympics are no more complicated than a World Cup. You have smaller logistical problems to solve than at a World Cup,” said Blatter.
After the choice of Rio the IOC can simply not ignore Africa, Blatter said, saying that the IOC is now seemingly following a rotation principle like FIFA.
“If you preach solidarity you have to go to Rio. The next step would then be Africa. I am convinced that after this first excursion out of the area which held the Olympics up to now there are considerations in Africa where it can stage Olympic Games,” he said.
But Blatter said “it is doubtful whether it will happen 2020.”
Munich, meanwhile, saw its 2018 chances lifted when the fellow-European city of Madrid lost out for 2016.
Even though the IOC makes a distinction between summer and winter editions, Munich Games after London 2012, Sochi 2014 and a possible Madrid 2016 would have been simply unrealistic.
Munich delegates were in Copenhagen to observe the 2016 election and were told by German Olympic supremo and IOC vice president Thomas Bach that “the choice of Rio showed that you must stress your own strengths and arguments.”
The German city would be the first to stage summer and winter Games. But the bidders will tread on thin ice as the 1972 summer Olympics were overshadowed by the attack on the Israel team.
Munich has two years left until the IOC vote in which South Korean Pyeongchang, a narrow loser for 2010 and 2014, will be the fiercest rival. Bid managing director Richard Schwank said that Rio could serve as a role model.
“We took notice that the Brazilians managed over 15 international presentations to come up with a clear and convincing performance,” Schwank said.
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Tags: 2016 olympics, 2018 winter olympics, barack obama, bella center, cities around the world, dream real, gigantism, gunilla, ioc member, joseph blatter, logistical problems, natural candidates, olympians, olympic dream, olympic movement, olympic stage, rio de janeiro, unchartered, winter olympics, world football