I was reading the NY Times' International Herald Tribune today here in Paris, and saw something funny at the end of an article about the crazy process underway to select the 2012 Olympic venue. By the way, this is the big issue in Paris right now - you can't walk anywhere without finding yourself in the middle of some sort of Paris promotional event, presumably being simulcast back to the selection committee in Singapore.
Anyway, the IHT had this funny line:
The last days of the race drew the president of France, the prime minister of Russia and the queen of Spain here. New York City pulled Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton away from a busy schedule to lend her star power.
Uhh, you mean the president of France and the prime minister of Russia don't have busy schedules? And wouldn't a more correct formulation be "while other cities were represented by their head of state, NY City could only muster a junior member of Congress"? I hope any city but New York wins, because, given past history, NYC will likely get themselves into some financial hole hosting the Olympics that the rest of the country will have to bail them out of.
By the way, apparently in a bid to head off past corruption, the International Olympic Committee has banned its members from actually visiting host cities and their facilities ahead of the selection. This seems kind of extreme - you have to pick between cities but you can't learn anything useful about them. Its depressing that the members of the Olympic committee are so untrustworthy that the only way to prevent them from collecting bribes from potential host countries is to not allow them anywhere near the country.