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Leipzig 2012 Olympics

Germany Nominates Leipzig to Host 2012 Olympics

  TWIG - Citizens of Leipzig took to the streets to celebrate on Saturday (April 12) after Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced that their city, known for its spirited role in the eastern protests that helped end the Cold War, will be Germany’s candidate for the 2012 Olympic Games. Long considered a dark horse in the race for the chance to host the Olympics, Leipzig beat out western competitors Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Rostock, another former East German city, will be Germany’s candidate for the sailing competition.

"I am very happy to be able to congratulate Leipzig and Rostock," said Schröder after a meeting of the German National Olympic Committee in Munich, host of the Olympics in 1972. Schröder promised the German government would do everything it could to support Leipzig’s bid for the games.

A city of 490,000, Leipzig will compete against urban giants New York and Madrid and as many as four other cities for the right host the games. Moscow, Paris, London and either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo may put in bids before the deadline this summer. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in July 2005.

Leipzig won out over the favorite, Hamburg, in the last round of voting by the national committee, winning 81 of the 132 votes cast. The city’s final 15-minute film presentation highlighted Leipzig’s part in recent German history through the fall of the Berlin Wall to help win the hearts of committee members. "We Leipzigers believe in another miracle," said Leipzig mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee in a plea for support. Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt and soccer star Michael Ballack were among the athletes who appeared in the film. "This is a great day for Germany, a great day for German sports," said the elated mayor when his city was selected. "Leipzig will become one big Olympic village."


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