Date: May 28, 2003

He may have declined the offer, but the fact that someone of Gent’s stature had been asked sums up the issues at stake for London, which officially placed its hat in the Olympics 2012 ring on May 15.

But London, which last held the Olympic Games in 1948, needs to prove it possesses the venue infrastructure to stage the $7 billion-plus event. Rivals include Paris, New York, Moscow, Madrid and several other cosmopolitan cities. The winner will be selected i...

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