Prague to announce bid for 2016 Olympics

Photo: CTK

The International Olympic Committee at its 115th session in Prague, has elected the host city of the XXIst Olympic Winter Games in 2010. "The XXIst Olympic Winter Games in 2010 are awarded to the city of Vancouver." The President of the IOC, Mr Jacques Rogge announced the winning city at Prague's Hilton Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Radio Prague's Pavla Horakova was at the venue.

Photo: CTK
"The joy and happiness among the Canadian representation were enormous but also visible was the disappointment on the part of the Koreans, who, after all, came second, only three votes behind Vancouver with a total of 53 votes. The President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge explained that all three bidders, that is Vancouver, the South Korean city of Pyeongchang and Salzburg in Austria, were well prepared but good venues are not the only thing that makes good Olympics."

"You know, a bid is something that's difficult to divide in various parts. It is a total. You need to provide good security, you need to provide political stability, you need to provide the support of the population and the political world and the corporate world. You need the expertise of the people who will run the games, because ultimately, the games are not an issue of venues. It is an issue of people. You need to have a sports-loving country, you need to have champions, because, as you know, the success of the home team is of vital importance. And Vancouver had all of that. So I think that made all the difference."

"Jacques Rogge also said that although there was no silver and no bronze in this competition, the cities of Pyeonchang and Salzburg were invited to launch a further bid for the following games. "

The Czech Republic is a sports-loving country, but have Czech athletes been successful in Olympic Games?

"Czech athletes haven't been doing so greatly at the winter games. During the whole history of the games, they scored a total of four gold medals, nine silvers and seventeen bronzes, the latest success being Ales Valenta's gold-winning triple back flip with five twists in the aerial ski jump in Salt Lake City, and before that the Czech ice-hockey team won gold in Nagano in 1998. Czechs have been doing better in the summer Olympics, though, and not only because the summer games have a longer history than the Winter Games. Fifty-five golds, fifty-seven silver medals and fifty-eight bronze medals are the results of Czech athletes since the second Olympics in Paris in 1900, in which six Czechs took part."

From left to right: Wayne Gretzky, Jean Chrétien, Catriona Le May-Doan, Hugh O'Reilly, photo: CTK
We now know that the next Olympic cities are Athens, Turin, Beijing and Vancouver. Do we know anything about the future bidders?

"Believe it or not, Prague is interested in hosting the summer Olympics, too. And the city's mayor, Pavel Bem is expected to announce the Czech bid for the 2016 Olympics at the IOC meeting on Thursday. If unsuccessful, Prague is prepared to compete in earnest for the 2020 summer games. Frantisek Dvorak is the vice-chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee."

"We want to persuade the country that it is a good thing, that we could make a profit from it. Of course, it is a matter of prestige but we could also profit economically because it is well-known that none of the latest Olympic Games showed a financial loss, on the contrary, they were profitable."

So we'll keep our fingers crossed for Prague...