Rome Mayor: NY Deserves 2012 Games
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ If New York City is chosen as the U.S. candidate for the 2012 Olympics, all other bidders should withdraw in a gesture of solidarity following last week’s terror attacks on the World Trade Center, Rome’s mayor said Wednesday.
Mayor Walter Veltroni came to the International Olympic Committee to express his city’s intention of bidding for the 2012 games. But he told IOC president Jacques Rogge that New York should be given the games if it enters the race.
``If New York is a candidate, I think all other cities should all step back to allow New York to host the 2012 games,″ Veltroni said. ``If the games go to New York, it means the athletes, the spectators, the whole world, we can all be together. This will show that the terrorists are defeated.″
Veltroni said he sent a letter Wednesday to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani explaining the proposal.
Veltroni stressed that if other bid cities did not go along with the idea, then Rome would not withdraw.
``If there is a competition, then we will be in the competition,″ he said.
Rome is among at least eight European cities which have expressed interest in bidding for 2012. Rome, which hosted the 1960 Olympics, lost to Athens in the race for the 2004 games.
The IOC will select the 2012 host city in 2005.
New York is among eight American cities in the running to be the U.S. candidate. The others are Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington.
The U.S. Olympic Committee, which has inspected all eight cities, will announce three or four finalist cities as early as October and will make a final pick in November 2002.