With less than two months to go before the cut-off point on September 1, the question becomes, will Durban end up throwing its hat into the Olympic ring.

© Hongqi Zhang |
IT WAS a national display of ‘We Can Do’." This was the reaction of one senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member to Tuesday’s stunning opening ceremony to the 123rd IOC session, held at the Durban Playhouse, with an impressive list of dignitaries including the newly married Prince Albert of Monaco. 

After the show — a mixture of Olympic pomp and vibrant African rhythms and colours, which saw IOC president Jacques Rogge invested with the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo — it will be little surprise if the South African government revisits its decision not to bid for the 2020 Olympics.
Rome is running. Tokyo will probably follow.  Madrid too, although it is quite possible that the financial crisis still stalking Europe will force a change of heart. A bid from the Middle East also looks likely.  Istanbul, though, is thought less likely to enter the fray than a few months ago and, following Chicago’s humiliation in the 2016 race won by Rio de Janeiro two years ago, there seems little chance of a US bid emerging.

Durban would also have a strong emotional card to play, similar to Rio’s, in that the Olympic Games have never come to Africa. What would be a big mistake is assuming that this emotional pull would be enough to ensure victory, or anything like it.

So will this week’s IOC session turn out to be a prelude to an Olympic bid, as some have long suspected? Today, once again, this looks a distinct possibility. But not yet a probability. I would say 60% was about right.

Excerpts were taken from an article that was written by David Owen a former Financial Times sports editor and an authority on the business of sport