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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
2010 Winter Games bidders
By Dmitry Shishkin

Olympic flag
The IOC said all bidders would host "very good" Games

The 2010 Winter Olympics host city will be announced on 2 July during the 115th International Olympic Committee session in Prague.

There are three contenders: Vancouver, Salzburg and the South Korean city of Pyeongchang...

Vancouver (Canada)

The city of 514,000, situated in British Columbia province in western Canada, is considered to be the favourite to win.

Canada has hosted the Olympics twice - the Summer Games in Montreal in 1976 and the Winter event in Calgary in 1988.

Seven sports venues are already in place while another six will be built.

Vancouver's bid logo
Motto: It's our time to shine
Vancouver will host the Games together with the town of Whistler.

Both have an experience of hosting major sporting events, having staged the 2001 world figure skating and freestyle championships.

Olympic insiders believe Vancouver could clinch victory at the first stage of voting if, as is widely expected, most or all of Europe's 55 members vote for the Canadian city to open the way for Summer Games in Europe for 2012.

Vancouver's main problem lies in transport links. Critics argue the area's current road network is not sufficient enough for the needs of the Games.

Organisers say that should their bid win, it will bring $10bn in direct investment which will help in further developing the region's transport and tourist infrastructure.

Good transport planning was one of the reasons Beijing won the right to host 2008 Summer Olympics.

Vancouver claims that giving the 2010 Games in Canada "will ignite our passion for winter sports at all levels, from community ice rinks to the ski slopes".

Salzburg (Austria)

The city of 150,000 people is situated in the north-west of the country near German border.

Austria has hosted the Winter Olympics twice - in Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976.

Salzburg's bid logo
Motto: Let the spark become the flame
The town of Kitzbuhel, home of many alpine skiing events, also wanted to bid for the 2010 Games but eventually joined Salzburg's quest.

Salzburg's bid team will hope that IOC delegates take into account that Austria is co-hosting the 2008 European Football Championships with Switzerland.

This experience, they say, will give additional weight to their Olympics bid.

Salzburgers says their city has a huge advantage - it has the three main pillars of the Olympic movement: sport, culture and the environment.

Andorra, Harbin (China), Jaca (Spain) and Sarajevo (Bosnia) were not included in the shortlist
Switzerland's Bern had withdrawn from the race after its population voted against it
2006 Winter Olympics will be held in Turin
The city's bid claims: "The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the medal presentations, will be staged in a style as never seen at a Winter Olympics.

"With the old baroque town centre as a backdrop, a grand stadium will be constructed over two bridges crossing the glittering Salzach River."

One of the main pluses of the bid is its compactness. The Olympic Village and all of the venues will be close to each other - 12 venues already exist with another eight to come.

The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg also featured in the "The Sounds of Music" and is more geared up for mass tourism than its rivals.

After the IOC inspectors visited Salzburg they argued that the city's Paralympics programme was not clear enough. Since then the plan has been changed and presented it to the IOC.

Pyeongchang (South Korea)

The town of 47,000 people is situated in the Gangwon-do province, located on the eastern side of the Korean peninsula, with the Baekdudaegan mountain range dominating the scenery.

The area is dubbed the "Korean Alps", with 23 peaks higher then 1000m.

Pyeongchang's bid logo
Motto: Games of purity and peace for all
South Korea has hosted the Olympics once - the Summer Games in 1988 in Seoul. The country staged football's World Cup Finals together with Japan in 2002.

The province also hosted the World Cup skiing events in 1998 and 2000

Gangwon-do province has 65 slopes in five ski resorts and 25 of them are internationally accredited.

In addition, the province is building another 25 slopes in three resorts. The course for downhill skiing events, the highlight of the Winter Games, is under construction.

Pyeongchang's bid team claim that as long as one of the Olympic movement's goals is the lasting peace in the world, no other place on earth better illustrates the need for it then the divided Korean peninsula.

Some even hope that the two Koreas might have the united team should Pyeongchang win. It has been reported that the North Korea's authorities back the South Korean bid.

At the same time, the ongoing political confrontation between the two nations might concern the IOC delegates.

Who will host the Games?
1522 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Candidate cities await 2010 vote
29 Jun 03  |  Other Sport
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06 May 03  |  Other Sport
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10 Jan 03  |  Other Sports
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24 Apr 02  |  Other Sports

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