The French President has arrived in Singapore to support Paris’ bid to host the 2012 Olympic games. The winning venue is due to be announced tomorrow afternoon after a vote by the International Olympic Games. “Do you like the Roastbeefs?” one journalist yelled out to Jacques Chirac. Roastbeef is a nickname the French use to describe the English.“I have come here to support only one candidature,” replied Chirac.
And there to make sure the ‘Roastbeefs’ have a good chance of being named the host city is the British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He is in Singapore despite a busy schedule, which includes hosting the G8 summit that starts in Scotland tomorrow. Blair said: “The spirit of London 2012 will be the best of the spirit of the Olympic movement.”
Madrid is one of the few major European capitals yet to host the Olympic games, and the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero has pulled out all the stops to support Madrid’s campaign. The Spanish capital’s only previous attempt to be host city was for the 1972 games, which went to Munich.
The Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, is leading the Russian capital’s bid in Singapore. He told a news conference that his city was ready to do all it could to win the right to host the games.
And New York counted on US senator Hillary Clinton, among others, to make a strong case for the Big Apple. She says the resilience of New Yorkers is one reason why the city is the right place for the Olympics.” You know the future is always unpredictable,” she said. “We have no idea what may happen next. You all know very well. We’re standing here a little less than four years after we were attacked and we’re telling you that New York City is the place to bring the 2012 Olympics.”
Observers say Paris arrived in Singapore as favourites but London, Madrid and New York all appear to have been gaining momentum at their expense. Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has described the vote as too close to call.