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China Intends to Try Again to Win Bid to Host Olympics

From Associated Press

China intends to make another bid to host the Olympics but has not decided whether to try for the 2004 Summer Games, Chinese officials said Monday.

Beijing lost by two votes to Sydney, Australia, in last year’s IOC election to play host to the 2000 Olympics. The Chinese bid was surrounded by controversy over the nation’s human rights record.

“We believe the Olympic Games will be held in China sometime in the future,” said Chinese Sports Minister Wu Zhaozu, attending the IOC’s Centennial Olympic Congress in Paris. “But the decision on 2004 will be made a bit later, not now.”

The position was reiterated by He Zhenliang, head of the Chinese Olympic committee and IOC member.

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“The matter is now in the hands of our government,” he said. “We are very positive about bidding once again. But there is no final and official decision yet. Our government has not had time to discuss it yet. We have to wait some months yet.

“All the factors that pushed us to bid for 2000 still remain.”

He said after Beijing lost its bid, China was disappointed.

“But still our people are very willing to contribute very concretely to the Olympic movement,” He Zhenliang said. “There is still a big desire. Everybody is unanimous that we will have an Olympics in China, but when depends on the right moment.”

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Several cities already have declared intention to bid for the 2004 Games, including Cape Town, South Africa; Istanbul, Turkey; Stockholm, Sweden; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The IOC will elect the 2004 host city in 1997.


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