And the winner is...
(Could it be Tingalpa for the 2008 Olympic Games?)
By Kim Sweetman
THERE is a perfectly good creek, some nice parking spaces and a superb climate - why shouldn't Tingalpa host the 2008 Olympic Games?
A group of local activists has launched an 11th-hour bid for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad to be held in the southside Brisbane suburb.
The boxing venue is all sorted - the public bar of the pub. There's a caravan park which would make a lovely athletes' village and the local bus stop will need just a few alterations to handle Olympic-sized crowds.
Determined to add Tingalpa to the long and auspicious list of Olympic host venues, the bid committee is baffled at an overwhelming lack of interest from the IOC.
Fundraising plans are well under way, with lamington drives and cake stalls expected to raise almost $1000 of the estimate $72 million required.
The bid's organising committe, TINCOG, believes Tingalpa can knock off Toronto, Beijing, Istanbul, Osaka and Paris to win the Games. President Tom Carroll said TINCOG was battling an IOC-imposed deadline - which they had already missed.
"We're confident we can overcome this. What do any of those other cities have that Tingalpa doesn't?"
But the IOC has continued a silent campaign of opposition to the Tingalpa bid, failing to acknowledge the application.
"We're angry about that," Mr Carroll said.
"It's a bit rude of them. We're obviously not throwing enough money around. If we started handing out presents they'd probably start playing the game."
The 12-member organising committee has also been baffled by a lack of support among the local community and is mildly outraged it is not being taken seriously.
Debate is raging and, just as in Sydney, detractors have already emerged.
"There's one bloke who called us a joke in the letters to the editor section of the local paper," Mr Carroll said.
TINCOG's official website may have a crooked set of rings and a computer hacker might be able to follow some electronic footprints back to university students pulling a prank, but Mr Carroll remains staunch in his faith in the bid. He refused to comment on the prank claims but said that he and his colleages - Juan Antonio Closque and Antonion Juan Phillipe - would defend TINCOG's bid to the end.
"We feel that the suburb of Tingalpa, with its fine cultural tapestry and technological integrity will be able to put on a show worthy of international regard," TINCOG states on the website. There are already plans to extend the monkey bars in Meadowlands Park to provide a gymnastics venue.
Other cities bidding for the Games have been hostile to the Tingalpa bid with a member of the Malaysian Olympic Committee demanding by e-mail to know whether the bid was a joke.
The Osaka committee claimed it had never even heard of Tingalpa.
It has now.
HOW THEY STACK UP
The IOC next month will announce the host city for the 2008 Olympics.
Japan has not had an Olympics since Tokyo in 1964. Osaka has the infrastructure required, including an excellent transport system. Old capital Kyoto, which dates back hundreds of years and is a centre of Japanese culture is nearby. Known for: Japanese cultural venues, cherry blossoms, high-tech industry and cartoon characters with big eyes. Chance 6/10
Centrepoint for meetings of cultures for more than 2000 years and a chance for the IOC to move the Games to a predominantly Muslim country. Known for: Ancient monuments and a fascinating history. Kebabs. Chance 6/10
Has twice hosted the Games. World re-knowned as a centre of culture but crowd control problems as host of the 1998 World Cup revealed infrastructure problems. Known for: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, long bread rolls and riots over onions. Chance 7/10
China is the new superpower and Beijing has now missed two other bids for an Olympics. Human rights issues may count against it but the IOC has always been fuzzy about moral issues. Known for: the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, capital of the world's most populous country. World's busiest McDonald's. Chance 7/10
The IOC may be keen to showcase Canada as a sucessful multi-cultural, bi-lingual country, but returning the Games to North America yet again would attract controversy. Known for: The UN ranks Toronto as the world's most multi-cultural city. Superb natural venues. Man-eating bears. Chance 6/10
Brilliant weather and handy to the new Brisbane City Council Busway. Extensions to the monkey bars should overcome any doubt about a suitable gymnastics venue. Some doubt lingers over whether the bid committee has done enough to bribe IOC delegates. Known for: Some nice fish and chips shops, pretty parks and quite a lot of video libraries. Chance 9/10 (OK, we're biased)