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July 5

As the Olympic Committee convenes in Singapore to make a decision about the site for the 2012 games, Paris is trying not to act desperate, but it's on the edge of its settee. With already available event sites, such as the Stade de France north of the city, Paris has long been considered a front-runner, while other contenders, such as London and New York, readily admit the need for construction projects to accommodate the games.

The line being taken in the French press is that Paris is pursuing its bid for the Olympics modestly, while England is putting on the hard sell, though both President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Singapore on the eve of the committee's announcement to drive home their countries' bids.

It's hard to imagine that the current contest between the two countries over such subjects as the war in Iraq and agricultural subsidies hasn't inflamed the Olympic debate. Or that the recent, reactionary French rejection of the European Union constitution won't influence the result.

I, for one, don't want to see the games go to either Paris or London, and doubt that Moscow, New York or Madrid can handle them. So how about Singapore, where everything works perfectly and there's the best airport in the world?

Or, maybe, we should just let Lance Armstrong make the decision. Sometimes, I think he should be in charge of everything.

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