Condoleezza Rice and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Secretary Rice joined New York officials and former Olympic medalists in a sendoff rally for the city's Olympic delegation. She called the Olympic games an expression of human excellence that knows no race, gender or nationality. That makes New York, Ms. Rice said, the perfect place for the Olympics.
"People from all over the world, from all ethnic backgrounds and nationalities have come to New York over the centuries and worked hard to achieve what they have achieved,” said Ms. Rice. “In that way, this city is the perfect place to host an Olympic Games. If you walk along the streets of New York, you will see the faces and hear the accents of the entire world. When the Olympic Committee looks at New York, it will see in microcosm of what the Olympics speaks to and that is the common humanity of all people."
During a news conference, reporters repeatedly asked Ms. Rice and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg why President Bush is not traveling to Singapore to lobby on behalf of New York's bid. Mr. Bloomberg said the visit by the secretary of state and a videotaped message from the president will show the Olympic Committee that New York's bid has the full support of the United States government.
New York's Olympic supporters have faced a rocky road at home. The centerpiece of the city's original presentation, a new stadium on the west side of Manhattan, failed to win state funding after considerable public dissent. Instead, an existing baseball stadium in Queens County will be renovated.
New York officials are upbeat about the city's chances of hosting the 2012 Olympics, but long-time Olympic observers give Paris the edge. London, Madrid, and Moscow are the other finalists.