14 Jul 2010

South Africa to bid for the Olympics

6:59 am on 14 July 2010

South Africa is to make an official bid for the 2020 Olympic Games after the country hosted a successful football World Cup.

A spokesman says a bid for the Olympics is regarded as a way of maintaining South Africa's new international profile and of maximising the investment it gained for hosting the World Cup.

The move has already received the nod from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge who said he would be glad if a South African city made a host bid.

South Africa poured 7 billion dollars into the first World Cup in Africa and largely overcame fears about crime and poor transportation, hosting a widely applauded tournament.

Cape Town sought in 1997 to become the first African host of the Olympic Games, but failed to win the 2004 edition and the country turned its focus to the World Cup.

The race to stage the 2020 Olympic Games is set to open next year, with the deadline for the submission of applications to the IOC falling in 2013.