Internet study chooses Paris to host 2012 Olympics

The majority of respondents to an international Internet survey chose Paris as their preferred host for the 2012 Olympics, according to a study released Thursday.

The survey, conducted by ACNielsen, polled more than 21,261 Internet users in 38 countries.

Madrid and London, two other candidate cities, came joint second in the survey. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city at a meeting in Singapore on July 6.

"The majority of respondents in 27 out of 38 markets surveyed chose Paris as their preferred host for the Olympic Games in 2012," Ashok Charan, managing director of ACNielsen Research Singapore, said in a statement.

The statement said "patriotism and self-interest" influenced the decisions of the respondents, with 81 percent of French voting for Paris, 57 percent of Spanish voting for Madrid, 85 percent of Russians for Moscow, 68 percent of Britons for London and 44 percent of Americans for New York City.

"Among the citizens of the contending countries, the Russians were the most eager to host the 2012 Olympics on their own soil, closely followed by the French. On the other hand, Americans are not as keen to launch the games on their own turf," Charan said.

The Chinese, who will host the Olympics in 2008, were the biggest supporters of the Paris bid with 52 percent of respondents favoring the French capital, according to the survey.

Charan said the games represent a big opportunity for a nation's economy and tourism.

Margins of error in the surveyed countries ranged from 3.1 percent to 4.4 percent.

Associated Press

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