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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 06:21 GMT 07:21 UK
The mood in New York
Commuters walk beneath a 2012 bid logo in New York
The International Olympic Committee will vote on Wednesday to decide whether London, Paris, Madrid, New York or Moscow will host the Games in 2012.

In the fourth part of our series looking at bidding cities, Charles Begli, of the New York Times, sums up the mood in the Big Apple.


What is the feeling in New York ahead of the vote?

In general, people do not think New York has a great chance.

Have the Olympic stadium problems wrecked the bid?

It was never clear how much chance New York had before that came up, so I don't know how definitive the stadium issue will be.

THE MOOD ELSEWHERE
It was seen as a defeat when they could not get their original stadium plans pushed through, but the full evaluation over what actually went on is yet to come.

We're just waiting for the final word and then some of us will be looking back and asking what happened, and why?

But I don't think having a stadium in Queens is a disastrous choice for the Olympics, so I don't see why people would give up the chance to go to New York just because of that.

Is New York weaker now than before its inspection?

One big issue in the evaluation report was that New York had the lowest percentage of public support of all the contenders.

I wonder if the stadium controversy will give people who hate Bush an easy opportunity to vote against the US
I found it very striking that when the IOC evaluation team went to Paris, there was a strike, but every striker was wearing a Paris 2012 T-shirt and cap!

I visited Paris last September and there was a clear sense that the nation was united behind the bid.

You don't have that in New York. People tend to give it the traditional shrug, that New York arrogance - "we're the greatest and who needs it?"

That's the reaction New Yorkers give to everything.

What tactics will New York's bid team adopt in Singapore?

One of the big selling points they have emphasised is that the city is this incredible melting pot of nations, more so than anywhere else in the world.

They have been trying to push the idea that you will get a wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Olympics no matter who is doing what.

Who will be in New York's bid delegation?

President Bush will not be there, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is going.

All kinds of big sporting figures are going to be there too, like Muhammad Ali.

How do you think the final vote will go?

I would imagine Paris will have the most votes in the first round, but not an overall majority, so it will go to another round.

Then it gets more unpredictable, and past experience has shown that the hares at the beginning of the race often wind up as the turtles.

I am going to guess that Paris will be the winner in the end, but I would not be surprised if somebody else wins.

Moscow is clearly out of it, and I would think Madrid might drop out early.

I also wonder if the controversy around the stadium will give people who hate Bush and the war on Iraq an easy opportunity to vote against the United States.

Do you think New York will bid again?

I would imagine that if New York does not win this time, it will emerge as a leading contender for 2016.


On Tuesday: The mood in London




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