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Could the Olympics be next?

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Jun 24

Posted by Jemele Hill

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa -- Other than a few snags, it's hard to argue South Africa hasn't done a marvelous job hosting the World Cup. Now officials are setting their sights on the 2020 Olympics.

After South Africa's 2-1 victory over France on Tuesday, South African President Jacob Zuma said his country finally has the infrastructure to host the Olympics, and attaining a bid will become a top priority.

"We have got the facilities," Zuma said. "Those who take decisions have seen how South Africa is. I'm sure we could do it."

At the same time, IOC President Jacques Rogge said during a German radio interview that he would welcome the Olympics being held on African soil for the first time in history. Rogge is scheduled to meet with Zuma at the World Cup final on July 11.

"It's always good news to see that a country like South Africa wants to bid," Rogge said following a two-day IOC executive board meeting. "Cape Town had a very credible bid in 1997, when they finished third behind Athens and Rome [for the 2004 games]."

The IOC won't announce the host city for the 2020 Games until 2013, but the countries that plan to bid must submit a preliminary proposal next summer. The 2012 Olympics are in London, and 2016 belongs to Brazil.

Other cities South Africa might have to contend with for the 2020 bid are Rome, Budapest, Istanbul, Dubai and Tokyo. Rome, however, is the only country that has officially announced its plans to bid.

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