China has to wait for hosting Olympics again

Updated: 2011-09-23 06:40


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BEIJING - China will have to settle for hosting just about everything other than the Olympics for a long time to come, the President of the International Olympic Committee said here on Thursday.

After Beijing staged the Olympic Games in 2008, China has remained a focus of world sports, with the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year, the world swimming championships in Shanghai and the Summer Universiade in Shenzhen last month. And in 2014, the city of Nanjing will host the Youth Olympic Games.

However, it will take at least 20 years for China to host the Olympic Games again, said Jacques Rogge.

"I think it would be realistic to think that the earliest day would be something like at least 20 years after Beijing (hosted the Games in 2008)," said the IOC chief in an interview with Chinese journalists.

"The Games belong to mankind. They don't belong to one country. The IOC wants to travel around the world for the Games. The minimum might be 20 and it might be more."

At the 2008 Olympics, the host country topped the gold medal tally for the first time with 51 gold, 21 silver and 28 bronze medals. The United States, a traditional sports powerhouse, came second with 36 golds.

Rogge, who is here for the World Conference on Sport for All, said it's difficult to predict the outcome of medal race in London, but he tipped China and the United States as the No. 1 spot contenders.

"One factor that has to be looked at is that the home advantage that you had in 2008 and will you lose that home advantage or not. But I don't think so, because your team is very well prepared. I think they will perform as well in London as they did in Beijing," he said.

With less than one year to go before the London Olympics start, Rogge said that he is confident that it will be a success.

"I am as confident for London as I was for Beijing, because the (London) organizing committee is very good," he said.

"There is something very important for London, which is that England is where many sports were born at the end of 19th century. They invented many sports. They know sports and they love sports. They have the tradition that many sports were born in their country."

Despit the riots that wrecked havoc in London last month, Rogge also expressed his confidence that London would deliver a safe Games.

"Security is always very important for every Olympic Games, be it London or any other Games in other places," he said.

"I know that the government in the United Kingdom will do everything that is necessary. The security plans are well in place, they are doing a very good job."

Since taking helm of the IOC in 2001, Rogge has made great efforts to fight illegal gambling and doping in sport. The London 2012 will be the first Summer Games to use a "biological passport", a long-term way to track the blood parameters of athletes, to avoid drug cheats.

"The use of a biological passport is very significant. It is a major weapon to fight against doping. So I'm very glad that the IOC is able to use that in London," he said.