Joint Olympics hosting a possibility: SNOC

Hosting an Olympic Games will be a mammoth task beyond Singapore's reach, but it is not completely out of the question should the Republic join hands with another country.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) yesterday said that Singapore on its own, with the various logistical and geographical limitations, would not be able to meet the demands of an Olympic Games.

It said in a statement: "While Singapore has hosted the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the SEA Games, we are unable to host the Olympic Games due to the demands and the magnitude of the requirements."

The YOG in 2010 featured about 3,600 athletes across 26 sports, while the SEA Games had about 7,000 athletes and officials across 36 sports. The Olympics, while featuring fewer sports than the SEA Games, would involve more than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 National Olympic Committees.

However, a first Olympics in the South-east Asia region is a possibility should there be a joint bid.

MAMMOTH TASK

We have to tread carefully as hosting the Olympic Games is a massive undertaking which will need the full support of the government.

SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL, in a statement

The SNOC statement said: "To jointly bid with Malaysia for the Games is an interesting concept which has yet to be explored in depth.

"We have to tread carefully as hosting the Olympic Games is a massive undertaking which will need the full support of the government."

International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang told The Straits Times yesterday: "It's a new possibility that stretches the imagination and a joint bid would be in the true spirit of the Olympic movement.

"For Singapore to do it alone is not possible, but for us to consider doing it with someone else opens up potential and possibility.

"It's not straightforward. No one has analysed this or explored it in detail. But, as a concept, it's interesting."

Ng and the SNOC were responding to Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran's comments that Malaysia could host the quadrennial event together with Singapore.

Tunku Imran was quoted ahead of Friday's International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Kuala Lumpur: "Doing it all on our own may be beyond (Malaysia) but under the new Olympic reform agenda, the IOC allows twin bids.

"I do see a joint bid between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in the future. With a plan to build a bullet train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in the pipeline, it'll be perfect."

He added that a bid for the 2024 Olympics - which already has Rome, Paris, Budapest and Hamburg vying for the hosting rights - is likely too late, but a bid for 2028 or 2032 could be considered.

The Olympic Agenda 2020, introduced under IOC president Thomas Bach last year, allows for greater flexibility in bidding for host cities rights, including joint bids from countries.

When asked about the possibility of having an Olympic Games in the region, Bach said: "I hope that one day we can have it here... because the Olympic Agenda 2020 offers an opportunity to have an Olympic Games (to be held) in a country, which until now, has not considered (the possibility) to host the Olympic Games."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Joint Olympics hosting a possibility: SNOC'. Print Edition | Subscribe