POSTED: October 2nd 2009

2016 Olympic Games bid battle: It's the final countdown . . .

Judgment day in Copenhagen for the final four
Judgment day in Copenhagen for the final four

KEIR RADNEDGE in COPENHAGEN / Sports Features Communications

OCT 02: After hundreds of speeches, thousands of documents and millions of handshakes it all comes down to this: the last day of the 2016 Olympic host city bidding process.

President Barack Obama landed safely, at 7.51am local time; all the other concerned heads of state and political leaders were already in place; the Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo delegations were relaxed, rehearsed and prepared.

All that remained were the final presentations to the International Olympic Committee and then the vote itself, culminating in the declaration by IOC president Jacques Rogge at 6.30pm.

Then, all the questions will have been answered.

Can the Obama Effect make up for the political blundering of the USOC? How powerful, on Madrid’s behalf, remains the influence of former IOC president Juan Samaranch? Is the 2014 World Cup staging a positive or negative for Rio de Janeiro? And is Governor Ishihara’s environmental agenda a plus or a minus for Tokyo?

In the beginning

The process began on May 16, 2007, when the IOC asked national Olympic committees to nominate 2016 host applicant. On September 13, the IOC announced seven applicant cities: Baku, Chicago, Doha, Madrid, Prague, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. On the basis of a working group report the executive board decided on June 4, 2008, that Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo should go forward.

By February 12, 2009, they had submitted candidature files and then came the evaluation commission inspections followed by formal presentations to the executive in Lausanne on last June 17-18.

Four candidate cities meant a potential maximum three rounds of voting with IOC members from a bid city/country excluded. That, with one suspension and two absentees, meant 95 votes available in the first round and a simple majority of 50 to be pursued.

Now, the working and waiting was almost over . . .

Keywords · 2016 Olympic Games · Copenhagen · bidding process

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