On this day: Manchester's Olympic bid gathers pace

Olympics opening ceremony
© PA Photos
On this day in 1993, Manchester's bid for the 2000 Olympics gathered pace.

Although the eventual holders Sydney were placed as the clear favourites to host the 2000 Olympic Games, Manchester were said to have a "very strong bid" on July 13, 1993.

That particular date in July also virtually dismissed the bid from Beijing following a series of presentations in Manchester's Town Hall.

Chairman of the Manchester 2000 Olympic team Bob Scott said of their bid at the time: "We've been striving for technical excellence and the report shows this has been delivered. The report shows that Manchester has a very strong bid."

Of course, Manchester eventually lost out when the final decision was made in September, with the 2000 Games being held in Sydney, where 10,561 athletes competed in 300 events.

Despite Manchester seemingly being placed as the second favourites to host the Games, they eventually finished third in the bidding results, behind Beijing and eventual holders Sydney, while Berlin and Istanbul finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Manchester United's skipper in 1993, Steve Bruce, also did his best to persuade the powers that be by parading the club's silverware, while President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch seemed unmoved by the weather when questioned on the issue.

"When I find rain in a country I think always that is a very lucky country," he said in the report.

Manchester had previously attempted to secure the Games in 1996, but due to various construction restraints, the English town was eventually dismissed.

The Metrolink tram system and Manchester Velodrome were introduced in an attempt to fight off competition for the Millennium Olympics, but it proved to be in vain as 90 members of the IOC dismissed their bid in four rounds of voting on 23 September.

England did eventually secure the Games in 2012, however, after being named as the host nation in July 2005, beating off strong competition from Paris in the process.

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