Southeast Asian Olympics possible after IOC reforms

Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:55am EST
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia are optimistic about bringing the Olympics to Southeast Asia in collaboration with one of their neighbors after the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) revamp of the bidding and hosting processes.

Earlier this month, IOC members voted to allow multiple cities and countries to host events at future Games, one of a number of sweeping reforms to the Olympic movement brought by President Thomas Bach.

Changes were also approved to reduce costs for potential bidders, with prospective candidates allowed to discuss plans with the IOC before formally launching a bid after a troublesome 2022 Olympic race led to six runners withdrawing citing finances.

"We strongly support these proposals and are very optimistic about hosting the Olympics in ASEAN in the future," Indonesia's Olympic Committee president Rita Subowo told Singapore's Straits Times newspaper on Tuesday.

"All the potential is there if we can overcome certain limitations.

"The IOC has very high standards and it's hard to built 20 plus world-class facilities from scratch. Hence, having it spread across two countries makes it more realistic in terms of costs."

Japan, South Korea and China are the only Asian nations to host the Summer or Winter Olympics, but the Qatari capital of Doha has bid for the last two Summer Games and declared its intention to try again for 2024.

That is the next opportunity for a Southeast Asian bid although whether the IOC would be willing to go back to Asia again after South Korea's Pyeongchang host the 2018 Winter Games and Tokyo the 2020 Summer Olympics seems unlikely.

Thai IOC member Nat Indrapana saw other issues.   Continued...