SA 'ready' to host Olympics

2011-07-09 14:37

Johannesburg - Jacques Rogge believes there is a "genuine desire" from South African politicians, including President Jacob Zuma, to bid for the Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief, speaking after closing of the organisation’s 123rd Session in Durban, hailed the way the week-long event had gone.

Rogge said South Africa was ready to follow in the footsteps of developing countries like Brazil and South Korea in launching successful bids.

He, however, said he understood the reservations of government, who have publicly stated they will not bid for the 2020 competition and instead invest the money involved with bidding in basic service delivery.

"Definitely, I think you have proven in the FIFA World Cup that you are ready for a major event," said Rogge.

"You are in a way, as a nation, ready to host the Olympic Games, but it's up to you to decide.

"I respect the decision of the cabinet and the government to focus on other tasks before that.

"But at the same time, I felt speaking with your politicians that there was a desire to host in the future.

"It might not be 2020, it might be 2024, but I felt a genuine desire speaking to all the politicians, including your president, that they would want to bid in the future and I think the nation is ready for that."

The IOC president described the session in the east coast city as "superb".

He also said the selection of Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Games and Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Games, a decision taken during the past week, were prime examples of where good bids could lead to.

"It all depends on the quality of the bid," he said

"We had Rio and now we have Pyeongchang, but I would like to remind you that the first prerequisite and the first condition is quality.

"If the quality is not there, we will not elect.

"We have seen this with Rio and Pyeongchang, this is their third attempt.

"The first bid was not good enough, the second bid was a bit better, but still not good enough, and the third bid was a good one."

Amongst key decisions made this week were the confirmation of three new events for the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia -- the ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle and snowboard parallel special slalom.

The IOC's Executive Board also agreed on a shortlist of eight sports that will be considered for inclusion in the sports programme of the 2020 summer Olympics -- any one of which could be added.

Three new members were also elected, Jose Perurena (Spain), Gerardo Werthen (Argentina) and Barbara Kendall (New Zealand).

South African IOC member Sam Ramsamy described the IOC Session as a "real success" calling it the "biggest moment in the country’s Olympic history".

But he was hopeful that South Africa's highest authorities would reconsider their stance on 2020.

"We know what government has said and we have to respect that," said Ramsamy.

"But most people believe we should bid and as the saying goes 'strike while the iron's hot'.

"I've been talking with the Sports Minister [Fikile Mbalula] and he is going to check with the president whether we can revive that bid.

"But at the moment our hands are tied and we have to wait for the decision of government."


  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-09 15:14

    And I wonder who gets to foot the bill?

      ilollipop - 2011-07-09 15:29

      Me and you....

      Little Jim - 2011-07-09 16:00

      This is a ploy just the soccer world cup was...built fancy stadiums and get the country believing that all is fine when in reality, poverty and other major social issues are hidden away for a couple of years! South Africa is no different from other African countries in that it suffers from just as much delusions of grandeur !!

      Albert - 2011-07-09 17:20

      We get to foot the bill while the cabinet and Zuma's cronies are already rubbing their hands in glee to pocket millions Malema? Of course, he will form another dozen inefficient companies gloating "job creation" while in 2 tears time his new roads will collapse again. We are still reeling under all the white elephant stadiums and debt that the municipalities were conned onto building in the wrong places. So who foots the bill for the extra facilities and where?

  • Roy - 2011-07-09 15:22

    You must be joking.We can't build houses for the poor.We can't provide services for the poor.We can't repair our roads infrastructure.Our education is down the drain.Our health department sucks.All of this is because there is no money?? The ANC must do what they promised the country,forget about the Olympics because we can't afford it.We had the soccer world cup in 2010 and also the Tri-nations in 1995.This idea is only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

      Red Lion - 2011-07-09 15:56

      Er Roy............Rugby world cup 1995 not Tri-nations :)

      Albert - 2011-07-09 17:24

      Roy, the houses ( or rabbit hatches) Malema will build for the athletes with Taxpayers money will be handed over to the "homeless" so that they can rip out the doors, toilets and basins to sell for money.

      Ralph Long - 2011-07-09 23:20

      Roy, it is not that we can't. South Africans can do anything, we are brilliant, it is just the thieving, criminal government destroy everything they touch. Get rid of them and put someone decent in charge (black or white) and we can build houses, solve our many problems and host the Olympic Games successfully.

  • Bill - 2011-07-09 15:48

    We do not need or want the Olympics. The games are a financial dead loss for the hosting country. We have vastly better ways of spending our few Rands. Firstly we HAVE to beat poverty before this country explodes. The stats are mind numbing: 65% of our people live on less the R550 a month. 12% are even worse off, struggling on R150 a month. One in five children show signs of malnutrition. The unemployment rate for black South Africans under 30 is over 50%. 66% of 15 to 30 year olds who want work have never been able to find a job. The richest 10% of South Africans earn more than all the rest combined. Few would deny that we are sitting on a powder keg which is ready to explode yet our politicians want to host an Olympics! Their bodyguards and blue light convoys will not save them if we do not solve the problems within the country first!

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-07-09 19:36

      Who is the we?

      Creeky - 2011-07-10 08:45

      Go to Barcelona.... when you drive INTO Barca from the Airport.... you will see the HI-RISE SLUMS on the left, that is the old Olymic Village..... Now go to London in 2014, and you will see how the Paki's will have turned the East End, into one big GANGSTA compound.... Isle of Dogs will have NOTHING on what will be around in 2014..... Olympic VILLAGES, TURN INTO SLUMS!!!!!

  • Deon - 2011-07-09 15:59

    Oh Gosh no. There is nothing special about Durban. A very ordinary city. Flat and monotonous. Good for swimming/surfing, that's all, and that is not what the Olympics is about. (not as good for swimming though as 1 999 999,00 other places on the globe). What is memorable about it? It has nothing that "stands out". A Zulu speaking Bloemfontein doppelganger "by the sea".

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-09 23:03

      Maybe we cut down your mountain and plonk it in durbs then

      Liberty - 2011-07-10 03:37

      Durban beaches not all that good for swimming either. Water is warm, but all the polution, yuck

  • Rob - 2011-07-09 16:15

    I don't believe that Rogge is speaking for all South Africa. The cost of the Football World Cup will be adversely felt by the poor of our country for years and the cost of the games will further impoverish our already fast depleting resources. Only the corrupt and the wealthy will benefit! Rogge speaks for them!

  • Collitjies - 2011-07-09 16:42

    It all depends on the quality of the bribe as in the soccer world cup. Tax payers will foot the bill yet again. All profits go into the pockets of the African National Circus who else.

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-09 16:53

    Olympics = giant smokescreen by ANC to convince everyone all is fine and dandy

  • Proffie - 2011-07-09 16:53

    Both Montreal and Barcelona are still paying off their Olympics debt, and that goes back 20 odd years. Thanks Mr Rogge, but no thanks. 2 weeks of games and 50 years of poverty and debt. Its like a shag, you get laid, 5 mins pleasure, then suffer for the rest of your life.

  • HanHan - 2011-07-09 16:55

    Ridiculous! A "Go ahead!" will smack of irresponsibility, stupidity and sheer stubbornness. Our government shoul rather get off Cloud Utopia and face reality. If not,.. we will so much less be able to be a beacon for Africa and so much more the sad sad laughing stock of the greedy money grabbers.

  • Nibiru - 2011-07-09 17:08

    Is hy befok

  • Piet Vark - 2011-07-09 18:10

    nog aap streke

  • John Paul - 2011-07-10 00:03

    Bribery, Corruption, Theft by Genociders Of course they are ready. With a calculated 10% of 5,5 billion for the World Cup, they are prepared to bankrupt South Africa to put another 10 % of even more in their pockets. By the way: Jordan has not published the accounts for the Soccer World Cup. This secrecy proves the huge bribery and corruption.

  • John Paul - 2011-07-10 00:04

    Jordan has not published the accounts of the World Cup. SA can not bid for the Olympics.

  • Deeteem - 2011-07-10 06:46

    Where ? Polokwane ?

  • Dries - 2011-07-10 12:51

    Ralph Long - July 9, 2011 at 23:20 "Roy, it is not that we can't. South Africans can do anything, we are brilliant,....." OMG, Ralph, are you seriyaas?

  • Anton - 2011-07-10 13:34

    At long last there is UNITY in SA !!!!! Rogge, take your Olympics, and take it to Quatar or Russia. Both these countries have the cash to built 1000 Olympic swimming pools. Here we need our money for housing, schools , health care , etc etc etc. And when you want to talk about ALL the benefits its in it for us, remember, we have only just experienced the biggest hoax played on us in Africa, by this other fantasy event organizer, FIFA Come back in 100 years, than wee will have another look at it.!!!!!!!!!!

  • pagreening - 2011-07-11 15:12

    Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

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