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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Makes Bid for 2012 Olympics

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov announced Friday that the city would bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, putting the capital in competition with New York, London, Paris and other cities.

"Moscow officially is putting forward its candidacy to host the summer Olympic Games in 2012," Luzhkov told the Olympic Assembly, the Russian Olympic Committee's ruling body.

"We have all grounds to say that Moscow is one of the most advanced cities in the world when it comes to sports."

The 292 assembly members present at the meeting voted unanimously to endorse the bid. The assembly is made up of prominent Russian athletes and coaches.

London, New York and Paris are already confirmed bidders for the games, along with Madrid, Spain; Havana, Cuba; and Leipzig, Germany.

The Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo might also bid, and Toronto could enter the race if fellow Canadian city Vancouver is not selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. Istanbul, Turkey, is also weighing a possible bid.

The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in July 2005.

Moscow hosted the Olympics in 1980, but those Games were boycotted by many countries including the United States following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

"We respect our rivals, but I must admit we have a huge advantage. We have almost all the necessary sports facilities and we have experience," Luzhkov said at a news conference following the vote.

Moscow hosted the World Youth Games in 1998 and the CIS and Baltic Games in 2002. The number of participants and guests in 1998 exceeded the number during the 1980 Olympics, Luzhkov said.

Moscow has reconstructed its 83,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, and last summer the new Lokomotiv soccer stadium was built. The city intends to build enough new hotels to double the number of beds by 2010, the mayor said.

There are plans to build several more stadiums to meet the requirements of all sports federations, he said. Sailing events could be held in St. Petersburg or in the reservoir outside Moscow.

"We are ready for the toughest competition in the race to host the Olympics," Luzhkov said, addressing the assembly.

"It would not be shameful to lose such a tough contest in the top league of the world's richest countries. But it would definitely be shameful not to take part in the contest."

The mayor said he was confident that Russia, which is battling Chechen separatists and has seen terrorist attacks in recent years, could handle the security challenges of hosting the Games.

Moscow first said it intended to bid in July 2001.