Since the era of the modern Olympic Games began in 1896, many cities have sought to host this prestigious set of athletic events that test the physical and mental abilities of those competing in individual and team competition. While the next few sites have already been selected (Torino in 2006, Beijing in 2008, and Vancouver in 2010), there has been great speculation as of late regarding which city will host the 2012 Summer Games. This past Monday, five cities submitted their official bids to the International Olympic Committee, which will make its final decision via a secret ballot in Singapore on July 6, 2005. Each of the cities was required to turn in a set of documents that covers information that will help the IOC make its final decision. Out of the five cities that have entered bids (New York, Paris, Madrid, London, and Moscow), Paris is considered by many to be the front-runner thus far. As Paris 2012 spokesman Jerome Lenfant remarked recently, "We are not overconfident but we feel, due to all the work and checking that has been done and the support from the French government, politicians, IOC members, athletes and community leaders, we think we have put together the best of France."
The first link provides a nice introduction to the recent Olympic host city competition process provided by the San Francisco Chronicle. The second link will take visitors to a news piece from the Telegraph in Britain that details the start of this highly publicized competition, along with providing some odds on which city may win, proffered by a prominent British bookmaker. The third link details the public relations campaign and broad vision put forth by the people behind the city of London's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. The fourth link whisks visitors across the Channel, where they will learn about the ambitious plans offered by the leaders who are putting forth the City of Lights for the same event. Moving up to the Moscow River, visitors will be given an intimate introduction to Moscow's proposed plans for the same august set of events by clicking on the fifth link. It should be noted that the site offers this forceful (and potentially convincing) epigram: "Russia is eternal, yet Russia is new." The sixth link leads to the Iberian-themed plans offered by Madrid, which includes a number of video clips of the site that will be transformed into Olympic-worthy locales, provided it is selected as the host location, of course. Not to be forgotten, the final link will take visitors to the official bid website for New York City.