Mayor sets hurdle for city Olympic dream

The lord mayor doesn't want the Olympics in Copenhagen. She would rather invest the funds in facilities for the people

Minister of Culture Brian Mikkelsen's dream of bringing the Olympics to Copenhagen in 2024 suffered a serious setback when the lord mayor, Ritt Bjerregaard, came out against the bid, reported national broadcaster DR on Friday.

Bjerregaard's decision not to back the plan would make it highly unlikely that the International Olympic Committee would select a Copenhagen bid, as it generally demands the full backing of national and local offiicals.

'I feel that Copenhagen has a much greater need for sports facilities that our residents can use, not the big prestige facilities that will be required for such a major event,' Bjerregaard said.

Kaj Holm, the chairman of the Danish Olympic Committee, said the lord mayor's point of view was too narrow.

'The Olympics are much more than the event itself,' Holm said. 'If we improve our facilities in Copenhagen, we can start by bidding on smaller events. That would improve our reputation as an organiser in the long term.'

A bid for the 2024 Olympics would need to be delivered in 10 years.

Carl Holst, the chairman of Team Danmark, agreed. He pointed out that renovating the city's sports facilities in order to support an Olympic bid would have spin-off benefits.

'Better facilities give more users,' Holst said. 'Moreover, a facelift would attract more major events to Copenhagen, that's good for the economy and tourism.'

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