Prague Olympic bidders refuse to lose heart after “spectacular” Beijing games
The Beijing Olympics were generally regarded as one of the most spectacular in recent times, and were praised by the president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge as ‘truly exceptional’. But were they perhaps a bit too spectacular – raising the bar so high that cities with more modest bids, such as Prague, can never hope to succeed?
But about the many other cities bidding to host future Olympic games? What about Prague, with its budget of…ahem, 5.2 billion dollars, one seventh of the cash spent on Beijing? The Czech capital wasn’t short-listed for 2016 but the bid is still on for 2020 or 2024. But whereas the Chinese built 37 new stadiums, several metro lines and a brand new airport terminal, the Czechs plan to build a new stadium, a swimming complex and a velodrome.
However Mr Bém said he was confident Jacques Rogge would stick to his philosophy of allowing smaller cities to hold more modest games. The head of the Czech Olympic Committee, Milan Jirásek, echoed this view in an interview for the same paper, saying that Beijing was an exception that would not be repeated, and that no other city – not just Prague – could hope to compete with the Chinese and produce something bigger and better than Beijing.