Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Moscow 2012: Bid taken on a worldwide ride from Japan to Finland

The Russian stand at the World EXPO in Japan provides a virtual tour of Moscow and its tourist sites

The bid to bring the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games to Moscow has been taken to the world EXPO in Japan and the Finnish actor Ville Haapasalo has agreed to be an international ambassador for Moscow 2012.

The Russian stand at the World EXPO in Japan provides a virtual tour of Moscow and its tourist sites. Among the aims of the stand are the promotion of Moscow for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, for which the Russian capital is a candidate alongside London, Madrid, New York and Paris.

The World EXPO stand is funded by a federal government grant of 8.4 million USD and presents Moscow as a city well prepared for and experienced in major international sporting events, one of its advantage points. Also to its advantage is the fact that the venues are to be around the Olympic River concept, with the brunt of the public transportation taking place on the River Moskva, providing a traffic-free and safe option for the majority of the spectators and competitors. Furthermore, most of the venues will be within easy reach of the river and all within the city limits.

Moscow's ancient history walks hand in hand with a modern, clean, well-organised, friendly capital, bustling with colour, joy and life, where classical and modern infrastructures marry unobtrusively with the unique cultural wealth that this great city has to offer.

The Finnish actor, Ville Haapasalo, has agreed to become an international ambassador for Moscow's bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He is not a stranger to Russia - he studied film acting at St. Petersburg and starred in a number of Russian films before winning the Best Actor Award at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2002 for his part in Kukushka (The Cuckoo).

Ville Haapasalo considers that "regarding security, transport, world class sports venues and convenience for spectators and athletes, I believe that Moscow can deliver." He referred to the 100 major sports events in the last 25 years since the 1980 Olympic games.

However, the 1980 Games were not fully participated for political reasons and Moscow is the only candidate city and Russian the only country bidding for the 2012 Games which have not been awarded a major top-three event (Olympics, FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Cup) since 1980.

It is time for the world to discover Moscow and it is time for Moscow to show the world the warmth of its embrace and the brightness of its smile.