WASHINGTON – Two Russian officials are visiting the United states to defend Moscow's 2012 summer Olympics bid,which the International Olympics Committee criticized earlier this week as not being detailed enough.
In less than a month,on July 6,the IOC will announce the city that will host the 22nd Olympiad.
The IOC criticized Moscow for “a lack of detailed planning … and background information.”
Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Commission for Physical Training and Sports Alexei Sorokin said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the application “is worked out well,and Moscow is looking forward to win the bid.”
At a news conference here as part of a two-day visit to the U.S. capital,Moscow Vice Mayor Valeriy Shantsev gave his first official speech about the 2012 Olympics. “Russia entered a bidding process a few year ago as it started its way towards political transformation,” he said.
Sorokin and Shantsev are on a Moscow-New York sports,culture and science cooperation tour and hope to sign a protocol for further collaboration with officials there. Of the five finalist cities,New York also drew IOC criticism because the city has not been able to decide where to build a stadium.
The other finalists are London,Madrid and Paris.
Moscow last hosted the Olympics in 1980 when the Bear mascot went into the air. But while the sweet brown bear was soaring above the Russian capital,79 of 160 countries, including the United States,Canada,Japan,China and West Germany,boycotted the games because of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Shantsev spoke of the 1990s,saying that Russia holding 2012 Olympic games can cross out all the remaining memories about the Iron Curtain hanging between West and East for more than 60 years. Adults who will be 22 in 2012 – they were born the year after the Berlin Wall came down – will face an outstanding opportunity to live in a country with opened boundaries,a successful economy and ready to embrace democracy,he said.
“Russia has got a grander need for the Olympics in comparison with the countries who have already developed themselves into democratic societies. The 2012 Olympiad must be conducted in Moscow,” said Shantsev,who heads Moscow's 2012 Olympic Bid.
He emphasized that Moscow has a unique capacity to hold the games within the Moscow area,something the IOC noted favorably. Other cities spread sports venues and housing over a greater area,complicating transportation.
Russian political decision makers,including Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov,have announced their official encouragements for the games,seeing the Olympiad as a way to reincarnate sports traditions and unite them with the Russia's cultural life.
The vice mayor smiled as he concluded his remarks.
“Moscow 2012 Olympics will echo in the memories of everyone who will be participating or viewing this historically tremendous and wonderful event,” he said.
Sorokin and Shantsev are planning to complete their U.S. visit Friday.