The Italian Almanac

olympic flag

Italian News - October 24

Parliament formally backed Rome's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games and in a bipartisan motion called on the government to promote the capital's candidacy. The motion was passed by a broad majority in the Senate a day after it won the approval of the House, with all parties voting in favor except the devolutionist Northern League, which backed a bid by Milan.

The success of the Turin Winter Olympics this past February has fired enthusiasm for an Italian bid for the summer Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to start collecting bids in 2007 and will announce the winner in October 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Madrid and Moscow have announced they will try again after London beat them to the 2012 Games. By 2016 Rome's swimming facilities will have already been revamped for the 2009 world championships and a series of urban infrastructure projects will be finished, including two new metro lines.

If Rome is chosen it would be the second time it has hosted the Games. The 1960 Rome Olympics were the first Games to be fully covered on television. Those Games are best remembered for bare-foot Ethiopian marathon winner Abebe Bikila and a young American boxer called Cassius Clay, who took the light heavyweight gold medal and later became boxing great Muhammad Ali.