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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 13:35 GMT
How humid is it in London at 3pm?
By Andy Swiss
BBC sports news correspondent

It's about 20 pages long and feels a bit like an exam paper.

But dull as it might seem, the Olympic questionnaire is important stuff.

Essentially, it is asking each of the nine bidding cities how they would host the 2012 Olympics.

There are 25 questions, split among seven different sections - concept, political support, finance, venues, accommodation, transport and general conditions.

The rules are clear. No more than a single A4 page for each answer - plus two maps outlining the plans.

The questions themselves range from the blindingly obvious to the blindingly bizarre.

Most of them concern the nuts and bolts of the bid - where the events will be held, how they'd be paid, and how everyone would get to them.

But they also ask for more obscure details. The average humidity at three o'clock in the afternoon, for example.

Or the number of hotel rooms within a 50km radius.

All the questionnaires were submitted to the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne before midnight on 15 January.

Now the serious business can begin.

The London bid will reveal their plans at a lavish presentation in Covent Garden on Friday.

We already know the details of the main Olympic site in East London, but we will now hear the ideas for the more "glamorous" venues.

Will there really be beach volleyball on Horse Guards Parade, or diving in Trafalgar Square?

Then, it is up to the IOC to read the questionnaires and decide how many of the current applicant cities will make the final shortlist.

It could be all nine of them, but at least three are likely to be dropped.

The remaining candidate cities will be announced in May.

They will then have just over a year to promote themselves, until the winner's finally announced in July 2005.

BBC Sport's Kevin Gearey
"Britain's form in bidding stakes down the years has been that of an also-ran"

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