New York came one step closer to its goal of hosting the 2012 Olympic games Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee shortened the list of contenders.
The competition for the 2012 Summer Games has been narrowed down to five candidate cities - London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, and Paris.
New York City officials have waged a vigorous campaign to play Olympic hosts, boasting of the city's great ethnic mix, numerous sports arenas and its easy and speedy public transportation system.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended an early morning party to await word from the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. He was not disappointed when the Committee announced the finalists.
"Receiving the honor of hosting the Olympics is as close as any of us will ever come, most of us anyway, to winning a gold medal. I do not know what it is going to feel like, but I sure would like to find out," he said.
Mr. Bloomberg says the 2012 games would create jobs and add as much as $1 billion to the city's coffers. City officials have developed designs for an ultra modern Olympic Village directly across the East River from the United Nations and proposed building an Olympic-size stadium, which would eventually be used by the New York Jets football team.
Several Olympic medalists were on-hand at the early morning event, as was the governor of New York, George Pataki. "The entire state of New York is behind this effort to make New York City host to the 2012 Olympics," he said.
The International Olympic Committee will make its final decision in July 2005. Despite New York's big effort, insiders say Paris has the edge.