The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the host city of the 2012 Olympic Games this week in Singapore. But before IOC officials cast their secret ballot on Wednesday, each of the five remaining cities will give one last presentation in hopes of swaying votes in their direction.
The competing cities are all doing intense last-minute campaigning. Presidents, politicians, athletes and even royalty have arrived in Singapore in hopes of bolstering their respective country's bid.
IOC President Jacques Rogge considers the competition extremely close. "You have five cities at the same level with the same potential, with the same buzz, with the same values. So definitely I think the quality and the technical file will prevail ultimately."
Paris has been considered the front-runner since last month when it received the strongest review in an evaluation released by the IOC.
But Paris' 2012 bid leader Philippe Baudillion dismisses talk of being the favorite. "I don't take into account this kind of information because my job is to convince the majority of IOC members we are the best project."
London has emerged as Paris' main competition. London's bid includes a plan to build a new 200-hectare Olympic complex in East London.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- who has been a strong, supporter of London's bid -- arrived in Singapore earlier this week. "And I'm here, in a way, to say it's a bid that's got the enthusiastic support of the British people, of all the political parties, of the government and the country right behind it."
New York also remains in the competition but is considered to be an outside candidate. The New York bid suffered a setback after lawmakers killed the original Olympic Stadium plan.
But a tentative new stadium plan is in place and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Americans love being the underdogs. "We are united in a way that America and New York can only do when our backs are to the wall. You saw us like an athlete who fell and got back up and said, 'Okay, just a little more of a challenge,' and went out and ran even harder. We are going to win."
Madrid and Moscow are considered longshots to win the bid.