Final Round for 2020 Olympics Host City Candidates

July 8, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. shortlist (v.) 
[shawrt-list] – to select  a few candidates for a job, award, etc., from all those who applied and from where someone will finally be chosen
Example: The International Olympic Committee shortlisted five out of nine cities that applied to host the 2012 Olympics.

2. win over (phrasal v.) [win oh-ver] – to get someone’s support or approval
Example: She won over the contest judges by giving a highly creative performance.

3. consecutive (adj.) [kuhn-sek-yuh-tiv] –following after something without a stop or pause in between
Example: Wrestler Saori Yoshida won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

4. troubled (adj.) [truhb-uhl] – full of problems
Example: Greece, Italy and Spain are currently seen as troubled economies by analysts.

5. bid (n.) [bid] – an effort to win, get, or do something
Example London won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

Read the text below.

Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid have been shortlisted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Each city has until September 2013 to win over the IOC and get selected as the 2020 host city.

The three cities became the finalists after Doha, Qatar and Baku, Azerbaijan were both removed from the IOC’s possible choices.

Doha wanted to host the Olympics in October when the weather in the city would be cooler. However, according to the IOC, the suggested schedule would mean the Olympics would receive fewer television viewers, as other sports events would also be happening during that time.

As for Baku, the city was removed because it does not have experience in hosting any other major international sports event.

Tokyo, Japan is the only finalist to have hosted the Olympics before, back in 1964. Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda said holding the 2020 Games in Tokyo would signify the country’s recovery from the 2011 natural disasters. Pyeongchang, South Korea, however, is already hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the IOC may not want two consecutive Olympics in Asia.

On the other hand, this is Spain’s third bid to host the Summer Olympics, but the IOC is uncertain about this as the country’s economy is currently troubled.

Istanbul, Turkey, on the other hand, is making its fifth bid. However, Istanbul is also trying to host the 2020 European football championship. Most likely, the IOC would not allow the city to host two major international sports events in the same year.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the reasons cities are competing to host the Olympic Games?
·         How would you feel if Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics? Why would you feel this way?

Discussion B

·         What are the possible advantages and disadvantages of having a big international event where you live?
·         Do you think governments should spend a lot of money in hosting international events? Why or why not?


July 8, 2012