Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

2012 Olympics – Why Moscow?

Or put another way – why not?

The city of Moscow is the natural choice for the Olympic Games of 2012 for a number of reasons. Firstly, from the point of view of the city's readiness; secondly, due to the enormous contribution that Russia has made to the cause of sports; thirdly, in recognition of the tremendous strides that Russia has taken across the board in recent years and finally, from a question of fairness, because the other four countries have been allocated major sports events in recent years.

Moscow competes with London, Paris, Madrid and New York to be chosen as host city for the Olympic Games in 2012. Why should the bid from Moscow prevail over the other candidates? For four main reasons.

Moscow is ready and prepared

The River Moskva, which gives its name to Moscow, runs through the city and at a stroke, solves the question of transportation because the events will be staged near the river banks. Athletes and sports fans will be able to move freely and easily between venues with zero obstruction and a high degree of security.

Due to the historic importance of sport in the recent history of Russia, Moscow's sports complexes are second to none in terms of readiness as is the experience of Russians in staging sports events. In terms of infra-structures, the Luzhniki sports complex, the Lokomotiv Stadium and the Krylatskoye Ice Palace speak for themselves, among others already constructed and to be built.

A special security department coordinating 79.000 police and emergency services professionals will be set up seven years before the event, guaranteeing a high degree of readiness at the Games. Yet the use of the river to take the bulk of the traffic already takes the weight off a security risk. While a metro system is easy to target, and while a roadway can be obstructed, what would a terrorist use in Moscow, a submarine?

The fact that Moscow already has the basic infrastructures necessary for the Games means that major construction works do not have to be performed and therefore it presents itself as a simple, uncomplicated and economic venue.

Historic contribution should be recognized

There are currently 500 Olympic champions living in Moscow and the year 2012 will mark the 100th Jubilee of Russian participation in the Games. What better way to signal the great contribution that Moscow and Russia have made to sport than awarding the 2012 Games to Moscow?

Rewarding Russia

Russia has built a free and fair democratically elected system with full active political participation of its citizens and total accountability of government officials. Russia has made her presence felt in the international community as a member which stimulates friendship and bilateral agreements promoting economic, cultural and political development programmes, helping developing nations without boasting about it and insisting on using the United Nations as the proper forum for solving differences and managing crises. In a world that proclaims it is based upon the rule of law, why not reward Russia for this substantial contribution towards our collective civilization?

Being Fair

Everyone preaches that mankind must be fair in all he does and indeed, fairness and doing the right thing are the fundamentals of our societal rules and religious beliefs. Therefore from this point of view, Moscow deserves to hold a fully participated Olympic Games for the first time in the city's history.

Politics apart, the 1980 Games were not fully participated because the USSR did exactly the same thing as the USA has done two decades later – in this case, invading Afghanistan in response to a call from the progressive government of Dr. Najibullah which was being destabilized by terrorists.

But let us not consider the political issues because the Games are about bringing people together in a spirit of friendship and this is not only what Russia preaches, but practises, as can be seen in the recent diplomatic history of the country.

Since 1980, all the other contending countries have held Olympic, FIFA (World Cup) or UEFA (European Championship) events, some more than once. Therefore from a perspective of fairness, surely it is now Moscow's turn?

The Russian people want the games, the Russian government is ready to make its commitment and the city of Moscow has all the conditions to provide a better service in terms of transportation and security than the other candidates. Therefore, why not Moscow?

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