Cities Bidding for 2012 Olympics Stress Green Credentials

The cities hoping to host the 2012 Summer Olympics are thinking green. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former president of the International Olympic Committee, has said that the environment is “the third dimension of Olympism, the first and second being sport and culture.” Most observers trace a full-blown focus on eco-consciousness at the Olympics to the 2000 Sydney, Australia, games, which featured the use of reclaimed toxic-waste sites around the city and numerous other eco-friendly elements. Eight of the nine cities vying to host the 2012 games proposed putting the Olympic Village on brownfield sites (Moscow was the exception) and many touted the proximity of proposed lodging to venues, which would cut down on congestion and air pollution. Today, the IOC announced the five finalists: London, New York, Madrid, Moscow, and Paris. The host of this year’s summer Olympics — Athens, Greece — seems to have dropped the ball on eco-friendliness (and much else), critics say.