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 India to bid for 2020 Olympics  

    NEW DELHI: Twenty-one years after India withdrew from the race to host the 1992 Olympic
    Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has announced it will now bid for the 2020 Olympics.

 

The IOA President Suresh Kalmadi made this announcement soon after the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the Indian Olympic Bhawan at the Qutab Institutional Area in New Delhi.

 

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr. Jacques Rogge, also attended the ceremony and that gave the IOA an occasion to send its message across the world only 11 days after it lost the bid to host the 2014 Asian Games to the South Korean city of Incheon.

 

"We will officially launch the New Delhi's bid for 2020 Olympics in 2011, soon after the conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth Games," said Mr. Kalmadi and sought Dr. Rogge's support for the bid.

 

Assessment criteria  

 

The IOC General Assembly will vote in 2013 after assessing the bidding cities' ability to stage high-level, international multi-sport events and their ability to organise quality Olympic Games against a set of 16 technical assessment criteria including Olympic Games' concept and legacy, political and economic structure, legal aspects and guarantees, customs and immigration formalities, sports and venues, transport and accommodation.

 

Rogge delighted  

 

The IOC President was quick to comment that he was delighted that India would bid for the 2020 Olympics.

 

He, however, reminded that the IOA has good six years to prepare an impeccable bid that should trigger confidence with the IOC members.

 

"I think India has a great potential to organise such games, but there are many other factors involved in the selection of the candidate city," Dr. Rogge said. He said that the IOC does not have any rotation policy and only the best bid is chosen to host the Games.

 

"At the IOC we don't make the bidding process into an auction where the highest bidder wins," said Dr. Rogge when asked whether a city with more financial muscle stood better chance than the others.

 

Foremost test  

 

The foremost test for Delhi would be three years from now. "You are a nation of over a billion people and your ability to organise will be on test during the Commonwealth Games," Dr. Rogge said.

 

Major events leave behind big legacy, said Dr. Rogge and added that the IOC always strive for positive legacy not only in terms of improved infrastructure, but intangible assets such as bringing people together and inspiring youth towards a healthy way of life.

 

Asked whether New Delhi stood any chance to host the 2020 Games, Dr. Rogge said that he wished that Olympic Games travel to the regions and sub-continents that had never hosted the Games.

 

But there were lot of factors other than the sports infrastructure that go into consideration before a city is elected to host the Games, he added.

 

The IOA initially intended to bid for the 2016 Olympics and for last several years Mr. Kalmadi and the Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, made announcements to the effect on many occasions and at different forums.

 

Playing it safe  

 

But after losing the 2014 Asian Games to Incheon, the IOA has decided to play it safe.

 

Earlier, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh after inaugurating the Indian Olympic Bhawan said it was time to make sports a compulsory syllabus in the educational curriculum. Dr. Singh said that it was the only way to improve India's sporting performance at the international stage.

 

Peace movement  

 

Describing Olympic Games as a peace movement, Dr. Singh regretted India's inability to tap its potential.

 

"The advancement of Olympic movement is advancement of healthy youth," said Dr. Singh and hoped that the Olympic Bhawan would serve as a source of inspiration for the sportspersons.

 

Though the Prime Minister offered no comments on the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) announcement to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, Dr. Singh said that it was unfortunate that Delhi missed an opportunity recently (to host the 2014 Asian Games).

 

"But I am sure there will be more opportunities in the future," Dr. Singh added.

 

[Source: Agencies]

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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