In the last two decades, virtually every election to choose an Olympic host city has been marked by backroom political deals and questionable gifts to IOC members or their pet causes. Here are four noteworthy examples,
1988 SUMMER SEOUL
Fully refundable first-class tickets to Seoul are sent to IOC members shortly before the election, helping to tip the balance in the race against favored Nagoya, Japan.
1992 WINTER ALBERTVILLE
Falun, Sweden, has the superior bid—it earns glowing reviews from the IOC's site-evaluation committee—but IOC members bend to the wishes of president Juan Antonio Samaranch and choose a French city. That effectively eliminates top candidate Paris from contention for the 1992 Summer Games, which go to Samaranch's home city of Barcelona.
1996 SUMMER ATLANTA
Athens raises stakes in gift-giving game by reportedly preparing a dossier detailing IOC members' preferences, from culinary to sexual. Manchester bid chief boasts of knowing shoe size of one IOC member's second daughter. Coca-Cola boosts Atlanta with financial support, but power broker Andrew Young clinches bid by cultivating links with African members, to whom he has the bid committee provide athletic gear and other sports-related aid.
2000 SUMMER SYDNEY
On election eve, Sydney bid chief John Coates, fearing the vote is slipping away to Beijing, offers $70,000 to fund Sports programs in home countries of two IOC members. Sydney wins Games by two votes. Admits Coates, "We didn't get the Games because of our great facilities or beautiful location."