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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Paris launches Olympic bid
Stade de France
It is an honour for us to request the 2012 Olympics to be held in Paris
Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe
France has launched its bid to host the 2012 Olympics at a ceremony in Paris.

The French capital is among the favourites for the event, with much of the required infrastructure already in place following the World Cup in 1998.

France has not hosted the Games since 1924 but enjoyed a successful World Cup and will hold the World Athletic Championships in Paris this summer.

The Stade de France, which hosted the World Cup final, would be the centrepiece for the athletics events of any proposed Olympics.

The stadium seats 80,000 spectators and is easily accessible by public transport both from the city centre and the airport.

Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who officially unveiled the city's bid, said: "It is an honour for us to request the 2012 Olympics to be held in Paris.

"It comes from a desire we all share in Paris and the rest of France to have the Games."

    Paris' Olympic ambition
  • Zinedine Zidane is being tipped to be the face of Paris' Olympic bid
  • Paris City Hall have put the cost of hosting the Games at $6.9 billion
  • Beach volleyball is planned to take place under the Eiffel Tower
  • Equestrian events are tipped to take place in front of Les Invalides

Sceptics, however, have argued the French have failed to convince the International Olympic Committee of its suitability as hosts.

Paris' ambitions of being the latest city to house the Games were rejected more than a decade ago when it was runner-up to Barcelona for the 1992 competition.

It then lost out to Beijing for the event in 2008.

This time around, competition will come from London, New York, Madrid, Moscow and Leipzig, with further bids expected from Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo and the Canadian city of Toronto.

A recent poll showed the French capital's bid has the backing of 97% of the French public.

The deadline for all submissions for the 2012 Games must be received by 15 July and the IOC will name the city hosts in Singapore on 6 July 2005.

BBC Sport's James Pearce
"France does not want to lose for a second time"

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