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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Rivals for 2012: Paris
BBC Sport assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Paris' bid to stage the Olympics in 2012.

THE PARIS BID
The Stade de France would be Paris' Olympic Stadium
Two main sites in the north and west, 6km from Olympic village
80% of sports within 10 minutes of athletes' village
Most venues already built, including Olympic stadium (Stade de France)
Venues include Roland Garros and Parc des Princes
Beach volleyball beneath the Eiffel Tower
Olympic transport lane
There were reservations about bidding after Paris came third behind Beijing and Toronto in the race for 2008 and lost out to Barcelona in 1992.

But the French capital is considered to be the favourite for 2012 ahead of the final vote in Singapore.

It scored highly when the International Olympic Committee first evaluated the bids last May, and the latest inspection report on 6 June found almost nothing to criticise.

Paris insists it can provide the ultimate experience for athletes, spectators, officials and journalists alike, and is campaigning under the slogan 'L'amour des jeux' (Love of the Games).

As well as enjoying a high profile as a centre of culture and tourism, the city has many of the key Olympic facilities in place already.

The 1998 football World Cup saw the building of the Stade de France, which staged the final, and the city's accommodation capacity and transport network are well developed.

The 2003 World Athletics Championships were seen as an overall success, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup would also serve as a useful warm-up exercise.

PARIS
Population: 2,150,000
Estimated total cost: 4bn
Olympic history: 1900, 1924
Winter Games 1924, 1968, 1992
Other French bids: 1992, 2008
Betting odds: 4-9
Paris plans to stage beach volleyball beneath the Eiffel Tower, but its main venues would be in two groups at the edge of the city.

One would be the western area of Porte de Saint-Cloud, which includes the Parc des Princes stadium (football) and the home of the French Open tennis, Roland Garros.

The northern area near the Porte de la Chapelle includes the Stade de France, which would be used for athletics, the opening and closing ceremonies and football, which would also be played in Nantes, Lens, Lyon and Marseille.

The athletes' village would be between the two zones, less than 10 minutes away.

Some of the cycling and shooting would take place near the former royal palace of Versailles, and sailing would be at La Rochelle.




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