The U.S. Olympic Committee selected New York over San Francisco Saturday to compete as the host city of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Organizers say they are ready for the competition with rivals, including Paris, Toronto, Moscow and possibly Berlin.
"America's candidate city of the 2012 Olympic Games is, New York"
The president of the U.S. Olympic Committee made the announcement in Colorado that 123 members chose New York over the city of San Francisco, California.
The decision follows a fierce campaign launched by government and private organizers of the group called "NYC 2012." They presented an ambitious $5 billion plan to stage the olympics in New York, that includes building a new stadium at the site of an abandoned rail-yard, extending the subway and ferrying participants to events in areas scattered around the city.
The International Olympic Committee will make its decision in three years. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a wealthy businessman turned politician, told reporters in Colorado that primarily private donors are ready to help fund the project. "New york is a city where people have resources and people and just the enthusiasm of the potential of getting the games and the drama leading up to 2005," he said. "New York is where generous people are and when they get caught up in something, they make it work."
Some critics, many of whom have written sharply on the issue in local newspapers, say they oppose bringing the Olympics to New York because of security, traffic and financial concerns, at a time when New York is approaching a massive, multi-billion dollar rebuilding effort that follows the September 11 terrorist attacks.
However, the project to has the backing of many famous New Yorkers, including former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and actors Robert DeNiro, Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen. They appeared in several promotional videos that tried to capture what the Olympics in New York will look like. In the video, athletes run with the olympic torch in New York City streets, passing landmarks, such as the New York Stock Exchange and Times Square.
New Yorker, Frank Ordonez, who was an extra in one of the videos, said the olympics will give New York a badly needed boost. "I think it is going to be absolutely fabulous, it is what new york needs," he said. "First of all, all the wrong reasons, 9-11 and all that but it is also good for the economy."
Although New York is competing with other major cities across the globe, organizers say that New York, known as the city of immigrants, is the only one that is often considered home to the entire world.