With the Eurovision Song Contest now completed for another year, it’s time for another international contest of intrigue, bargaining and frankly bizarre voting. In other words, the IOC today announced the shortlist of cities to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
Four European cities have made the shortlist: Paris, Madrid, London and Moscow, with New York the only non-European city remaining in the race. Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Leipzig and Havana were all excluded from the shortlist.
The GamesBids website has good coverage of the procedure to select the host city, with ongoing assesments and ratings of the candidate cities. As their ratings of the cities show, Rio’s exclusion from the shortlist was quite a shock, as it had been seen as a very strong bid, especially as the Games haven’t been held in Latin America before.
Paris appears to be the favourite at this stage, though Madrid does appear to be gaining strength (the IOC ranked it second of the five shortlisted bids) as time goes by but may be hampered by the fact that the 1992 Olympics were also in Spain. However, Olympic voting is one of the hardest things in the world to predict, and it’d take a braver person than me to predict which city will be chosen when the IOC meets in Singapore next year.