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Putin Praises Moscow as Perfect Host for 2012 Olympic Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told International Olympic Committee inspectors that Moscow should host the 2012 Olympics because of Russia's place as a "global sports power."

At a meeting in the Kremlin, Mr. Putin said that a "constellation of athletic talent lives in Moscow."

The Russian president said his country remembers 1980 when the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics because of the former Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. However, Mr. Putin said while the world and Russia have changed since 1980, the Russian people's love of sports has not.

Moscow proposes holding all events within 25 kilometers of the city center, with the bid plan focusing on the "Olympic River" concept. Many of the venues and the Olympic village would be located along the Moscow River.

The Russian capital is competing with Paris, London, Madrid and New York City for the right to host the 2012 Games. The IOC will choose the host city at a meeting in Singapore July 6.