“I Believe There Will Be a Games Bid from Africa,” Says Ng Ser Miang
Ng Ser Miang, the Singaporean International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president who last week launched his election campaign to replace Jacques Rogge in the most powerful position in world sport, has said he believes a Games bid from Africa is on the horizon.
Speaking to insidethegames at the Paris-Sorbonne University after announcing his candidacy at the birthplace of the modern Olympics in the French capital, the 64-year-old former sailor said he believed Africa would host a Games in the not too distant future – something he will have a hugely influential say in if he is elected as the next IOC President.
“I was in Dakar and the Africans asked me about a bid from Africa,” Ng, who was also chair of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, explained. “Africa is the second biggest continent in the world, the second most populous continent in the world, great countries, great cities. The sports leaders and political leaders are passionate. I believe there will be a bid from Africa. I believe in my lifetime I will see a Games and take part in a Games in Africa.”
The next Olympics and Paralympics that an African city could potentially bid for is the 2024 edition, with South Africa being tipped to bid to stage the first ever Games in the continent.
So far, the United States has had ten expressions of interest from cities looking to bid, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and a joint bid from San Diego and the Mexican city Tijuana – which cannot go any further forward because it is against the Olympic Charter.
Toronto, St. Petersburg, Rome, Baku and Doha are other potential 2024 bidders, while Ng’s fellow IOC Presidential candidate Thomas Bach claimed in January that there is a possibility his nation, Germany, could mount a bid, although this has yet to materialize.
Paris is also considered a strong contender for the competition as a bid would come exactly 100 years after it last hosted the Olympics in 1924 and Ng said he would expect a strong bid from the city.
“I think Paris is a great city,” he told insidethegames. “In 2005 [when Paris lost to London in the final round by just four votes] they entered a very strong bid for 2012. I believe if Paris bids again it will be a wonderful bid and a very strong bid as well.”
Ng was cautious, however, to speculate on where the Games may go to in 11 years’ time, perhaps choosing to now focus on his own bid race for IOC Presidency.
“The decision for every city is different,” he added. “There will be unique propositions from each of the cities we have to look at. I believe that there will be other cities entering into the race for 2024 and we all look forward to a strong competition for 2024.”
The IOC is due to select a host city for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in 2017.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.