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China Joins Race for 2010 Winter Games

China and Spain submitted late bids for the 2010 Winter Olympics, putting seven countries in the race for the games.

The International Olympic Committee said Monday that China had selected the city of Harbin, in the northeast Heilongjiang Province, as a candidate for the 2010 games.

The IOC confirmed it also received a bid from the Spanish town of Jaca, which was unsuccessful in two previous Winter Olympic attempts. Jaca, in northern Spain, was chosen by the Spanish Olympic Committee over the southern resort of Granada.

The deadline for submission of bids to the IOC is February 4.

The other candidates who have already entered the race or are expected to: Berne, Switzerland; Kangwon Province, South Korea; Salzburg, Austria; Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada.

The IOC will evaluate the candidates and announce a short list of finalists in August. The winner will be selected in 2003.

Still to be decided is whether IOC members will visit the bid cities.

Member visits have been prohibited since the Salt Lake City bribery scandal. But there is a strong push for visits to be reinstated, and a decision will be made at a special IOC session in Mexico in November.

(China Daily January 29, 2002)

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