Flushing Meadows Regatta Center; Image: NYC2012

The International Olympic Comitee pared down the locations contending for the 2012 Olympic Games today, choosing five cities to remain in the competition. The cities chosen were New York City, Paris, London, Madrid, and Moscow. Istanbul, Leipzig, Rio de Janeiro and Havana did not make the list of finalists. This, of course, has Gothamist bummed because we were really hoping to travel to Cuba and smoke some fine cigars. There were reports that as many as six cities would make the list, but in the end only five were chosen.

The remaining cities will compete to win the vote of the IOC, which will announce the results in July, 2005 in Singapore. Because of its successful World Cup in 1998, France is already the favorite to get the games, with London as its main competition. New York is at a disadvantage because Vancouver hosts the 2010 Winter Games. Moscow made the list because of the 1980 Olympic games.

While the debate over the Olympics in New York is a heated issue, Gothamist Sports is all for it. Sure, there will be mass pandemonium with thousands of people descending on The City, increased traffic, and it will make New York even more of a terrorist target, but the Olympics is the finest events in sport. We would love seeing all the sports that don't get much publicity in the United States - soccer, rowing, fencing, and even taekwondo. The sports are often something overlooked in the whole discussion. How often do you have world class athletes in several different disciplines in New York?

Related, Gothamist on if Olympics are worth it, on the much maligned Olympic logo, and the design of the Olympic Village. The Times also looked at Thom Mayne, who has one design for the village.