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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 10:30 GMT
An inspector calls...
MadridLondonNew YorkParisMoscow The International Olympic Committee inspectors have completed their tour of the five cities battling to host the Games in 2012.

The odyssey started in Madrid, took in London, New York and Paris, before finally moving on to Moscow in March.

BBC Sport looks at how they spent their time - and what else they could have got up to.


MOSCOW
Inspection completed (14-17 March)
Betting: 66-1

  • Weather - As Moscow is bidding for the Summer Games, a little imagination was required. The inspectors had to contend with snow and temperatures as low as -11C.

  • Sporting interest - The inspectors' visit coincided with the World Figure Skating Championships, the first time they had been held in Russia for more than a century.

  • Good day out - Caviar, sturgeon, quail breasts and crab cakes were on the menu at a reception hosted by Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at the Kremlin.

  • Fascinating fact - Forty four of Moscow's lavish metro stations have been designated as architectural landmarks.

  • Handy phrase - "Eto obsluzhivanie nomerov? Prinesite mne, pozhaluista, v nomer eshche kilogramm ikry."
    Translation - "Room service? Could I please get another kilo of caviar sent up to my room."

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PARIS
Inspection completed (9-12 March)
Betting: 1-5

  • Weather - Not quite Paris in the springtime. As predicted, the French capital was a bit wet and gloomy.

  • Sporting interest - Thousands of online skaters cruised down the Champs Elysees avenue wearing Paris 2012 T-shirts. Plenty of action on the streets too as workers marched against labour reforms and job cuts.

  • Good day out - A taste of elegance and French gastronomy at a dinner hosted by President Jacques Chirac at the ornate presidential palace.

  • Fascinating fact - The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 and 320m high, used to be the world's tallest structure until it was replaced by New York's Chrysler Building.

  • Handy phrase - "Pourriez-vous emmener la Joconde a l'hotel. J'ai horreur de sortir dans la pluie."
    Translation - "Could you bring the Mona Lisa to the hotel? I don't like going out in the rain."

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NEW YORK
21-24 February
Betting: 20-1

  • Weather - Snow and rain was forecast for the Big Apple, so a big mac may have come in handy.

  • Sporting interest - On the final day of inspection, there was a fencing display on the steps of the New York Public Library.

  • Good day out - IOC inspectors met Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg and had dinner at the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg's home where guests included Henry Kissinger and Matt Damon.

  • Fascinating fact - The start of the IOC team's visit coincided with Presidents' Day, a public holiday marking the birthday of first US president George Washington.

  • Handy phrase - "Gimme a pastrami on rye and a cwupacwoffee to go. And hold the mayo."
    Translation - "I'd like to order a pastrami sandwich on rye bread and a cup of coffee to take away. And I won't have any mayonnaise in the sandwich, thanks."

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LONDON
16-19 February
Betting: 7-2

  • Weather - The inspectors flew in to blue skies, but the London 2012 umbrellas were soon out - and it was pretty chilly.

  • Sporting interest - No high-profile sporting events, although there was the chance to try archery at Lord's and play basketball with some kids outside the Millennium Dome.

  • Good day out - The Queen pulled out all the stops with a reception at Buckingham Palace, and even waved off her guests from the royal balcony when they left.

  • Fascinating fact - The IOC visit coincided with school half-term in London.

  • Handy phrase - "Oy treacle, get yer whistle on. We're goin' down the rub."
    Translation - "Put your suit on my good man. We've been invited to a drinks reception at the local hostelry."

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MADRID
3-6 February
Betting (To win bid): 12-1

  • Weather - It was fine for most of the time in the Spanish capital, but there was a bit of a surprise when it snowed on the Friday.

  • Sporting interest - The IOC team looked on at the Santiago Bernabeu as bid ambassador Raul scored twice in Real Madrid's 4-0 victory over Espanyol.

  • Good day out - There was a swanky gala dinner at the Royal Palace, where host King Juan Carlos wore a Madrid 2012 tie.

  • Fascinating fact - At 650m above sea level, Madrid is Europe's highest capital.

  • Handy phrase - "No me importa si David Beckham ya haya reservado el cuarto. Quiero estar en la sala mas lujosa."
    Translation - "I don't care if David Beckham has already booked the room. I want the penthouse suite."

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