Review of Olympic cost and size a priority, says Ng

Review of Olympic cost and size a priority, says Ng

SINGAPORE - Olympic Games could have less medals and athletes after International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidential candidate Ng Ser Miang said a review of the cost and size would be a priority if he won next month's vote.

The 64-year-old Singaporean also told Reuters in an interview he would look into scaling back the price and procedures for cities bidding to host the Olympics, a two-year process that is now estimated to cost around $80-100 million.

"It is time for us to do a major review of the size, the cost, the scale and the complexity of the Games," said Ng at his office on Monday.

"This will be one of the priorities for sure. Even on the bid itself, the process. Whether we can make it more efficient, less costly with more respect to the cities bidding as well as for the sports themselves.

"But at the same time when we talk about reducing the size of the Games there are more sports knocking on the door wanting to be part of it so I think there is going to be a fine balance and we have got to find the optimum solution."

Ng said all aspects of the Games would be looked at and did not rule out increasing the number of sports from 26 but with less medals available in each.

He is up against Germany's Thomas Bach, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, Wu Ching-kuo of Taiwan, Swiss Denis Oswald and Ukraine's former Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka in the September 10 vote in Argentina to replace outgoing Belgian Jacques Rogge.

The softly-spoken Singaporean, an IOC vice president and former international sailor, was non-committal about the areas he would like to slim down, adding he would discuss the issue with all members before making changes.

"There could be a review on the number of athletes, different disciplines, there could be a review of disciplines in the existing sports," added Ng.

"There could be a more optimum allocation of scheduling of competitions. I believe there are some opportunities there for us to look at so we have to, definitely, consider some of these."

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