Jacques Rogge

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Posted by pompos 04/06/2009 @ 12:07

Tags : jacques rogge, international olympic committee, international organizations, world

News headlines
'Timing is right' for women's boxing - Australian Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has said “timing is right” for women's boxing to be part of the Olympics. Rogge made the comment while in Ireland on a week long visit where he unveiled a statue in commemoration of former IOC...
One powerful man who does seem to be on top of things - Irish Times
But even sitting in a plush bar at the Shelbourne Hotel this week, Jacques Rogge appeared far from stiff, and certainly not deluded. Rogge may not be the most powerful man in world sport, but he can't be far off. As president of the International...
Rogge says time is right for women's boxing at Games - Irish Times
At yesterday's unveiling of the commemorative bust of Lord Killanin in Howth were (from left): Ronnie Delany, Lord Killanin's son Redmond Morris, president of the IOC, Dr Jacques Rogge, and Pat Hickey, president of the OCI....
Why baseball and softball won't make it to the 2016 Olympics - Telegraph.co.uk
And the sport has mooted another Jacques Rogge love-in whereby baseball's World Cup could be held in Europe this September. But there is one outstanding issue here (two if you count the fact that there are so few countries who hold a passion for...
Sochi 2014 Head Presents At Olympic Truce Board - GamesBids.com
At the meeting Chernyshenko told Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and fellow members of the board, about a series of actions that Sochi 2014 will take to embrace the Olympic Truce concept....
Week of 04 May 2009 - Olympic
On 7 and 8 May at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, IOC President Jacques Rogge took part in the first Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, held under the patronage of the IOC International Relations Commission and the International Olympic Truce...
Liu Peng reelected president of Chinese Olympic Committee - Xinhua
During this term, China successfully hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, winning high praise from IOC President Jacques Rogge and other leaders of the International Olympic Committee. The Chinese athletes also made great achievements in a series of...
AIBA confident of women's boxing in 2012 Olympics - ESPN
AIBA has been lobbying to put women's boxing in the games since 2005 and is encouraged by support from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge this week. Wu said the AIBA "is still working very closely with the IOC" to determine how...
Athletics: Bolt is unrepentant - WalesOnline
USAIN Bolt says he won't change his celebratory style, despite criticism from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge. Bolt, who competes in the Great CityGames in Manchester today, accepts his showboating in the Olympic 100m final may...
IAAF happy with future of London Olympic stadium - USA Today
In November, Diack accused International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge of displaying "a lack of respect" for the sport after he suggested the athletics track could be ripped up after the London Games to avoid leaving any white elephants....

Jacques Rogge

Jacques Rogge

Jacques Rogge, Count Rogge (born May 2, 1942) (pronounced (help·info) in Dutch) is a Belgian sports functionary. He is the eighth president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Born in Ghent, Rogge is an orthopedic surgeon by profession. Rogge was educated at the University of Ghent. He competed in yachting in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics, and played on the Belgian national rugby union team. Rogge served as president of the Belgian Olympic Committee from 1989 to 1992, and as president of the European Olympic Committees from 1989 to 2001. He became a member of the IOC in 1991 and joined the Executive Board in 1998. He was knighted, and later elevated to Count, by King Albert II of Belgium. In his free time, Rogge is known to admire modern art and is an avid reader of historical and scientific literature.

Rogge was elected as president of the IOC on July 16, 2001 at the 112th IOC Session in Moscow as the successor to Juan Antonio Samaranch, who had led the IOC since 1980.

Under his leadership, the IOC aims to create more possibilities for developing countries to bid for and host the Olympic Games. Rogge believes that this vision can be achieved in the not too distant future through government backing and new IOC policies that constrain the size, complexity and cost of hosting the Olympic Games.

At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Rogge became the first IOC President to stay in the Olympic village, to enjoy closer contact with the athletes.

Under his term, Rogge has been active in ensuring that baseball and softball be removed from the Olympic Programme. The decision was approved at the IOC Session in July 2005 in Singapore and will be in force for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. However, Rogge stated at the time of the decision that both sports would be eligible to win back their place in future Olympic Games.

In mid-July 2008, Rogge announced that, "for the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China. There will be no censorship on the Internet." However, by July 30, 2008 it was announced by IOC spokesman Kevan Gosper that the Internet would indeed be censored for journalists in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Gosper, who said he had not heard about this, suggested that high IOC officials (probably including the Dutch Hein Verbruggen and IOC French director-general Gilbert Felli, and most likely with Rogge's knowledge) had made a secret deal with Chinese officials to allow the censorship, without the knowledge of either the press or most members of the IOC. Rogge later denied that any such meeting had taken place, but did not insist that China adhere to its prior assurances that the Internet would not be censored.

Rogge has been criticized for rebuking Usain Bolt's jubilation after winning multiple track and field events during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China. Yahoo Sports columnist, Dan Wetzel, who covered the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing sharply criticized Rogge by describing him as "...a classic stiff-collared bureaucrat." Wetzel further contended that Rogge's "organization has made billions off athletes such as Bolt for years, yet he has to find someone to pick on." He is also criticized by the Greek society for reportedly stating that "Greece won the gold medal in doping", referring to the disqualification of several Greek athletes due to doping.

His son Philippe is the current delegation leader of the Belgian Olympic Committee.

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International Olympic Committee

Olympic Rings.svg

The International Olympic Committee (French: Comité International Olympique) is an organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas on June 23, 1894. Its membership consists of the 205 National Olympic Committees.

The IOC organizes the modern Olympic Games held in Summer and Winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics organized by the International Olympic Committee held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Until 1992, both Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year. After that year, however, the IOC shifted the Winter Olympics to the even years between Summer Games, to help space the planning of the two events two years apart from one another.

On June 23, 1894 the Olympic games were re-created by Pierre de Coubertin after a hiatus of 1500 years. The baron hoped to foster international communication and peace through the Olympic Games. The IOC is a parent organization intended to localize administration and authority for the Games, as well as to provide a single legal entity which owns copyrights, trademarks, and other intangible properties associated with the Olympic games. For example, the Olympic logos, the design of the Olympic flag, the motto, creed, and anthem are all owned and administered by the IOC. There are other organizations which the IOC coordinates as well, which are collectively called the Olympic Movement. The IOC President is responsible for representing the IOC as a whole, and there are members of the IOC which represent the IOC in their respective countries.

Professor David C. Young of the University of Florida has conducted research suggesting that the revival of the modern Olympic Games was planted firmly in both Greece and the United Kingdom by Evangelos Zappas and Dr William Penny Brookes respectively.

The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement.

The Session is the general meeting of the members of the IOC, held once a year in which each member has one vote. It is the IOC’s supreme organ and its decisions are final.

Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one third of the members.

The IOC Executive Board consists of the President, four Vice-Presidents and ten other members. All members of the IOC Executive Board are elected by the Session, in a secret ballot, by a majority of the votes cast. The IOC Executive Board assumes the general overall responsibility for the administration of the IOC and the management of its affairs.

The IOC Session elects, by secret ballot, the IOC President from among its members for a term of eight years renewable once for four years. The next President election will then take place in 2009. The President represents the IOC and presides over all its activities. Former President Juan Antonio Samaranch has been elected Honorary President For Life.

The IOC publishes Olympic Review and Revue Olympique since 1894.

For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were co-opted, which means they were selected by other members. Countries that had hosted the Games were allowed two members, others one or none. When named, they became not representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries.

For a long time, members of royalty have been members of co-option, such as Prince Albert de Monaco, as have former athletes. These last 10 years, the composition has evolved, in order to get a better representation of the sports world. Members seats have been allocated specifically to athletes, International Federations leaders and National Olympic Committees leaders.

The total number of IOC members may not exceed 115. Each member of the IOC is elected for a term of eight years and may be re-elected for one or several further terms.

The Olympic Movement generates revenue through five major programs. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) manages broadcast partnerships and the TOP worldwide sponsorship program. The Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) manage domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing programs within the host country under the direction of the IOC. The Olympic Movement generated a total of more than US$4 billion in revenue during the most recent Olympic quadrennium (2001–2004).

The IOC distributes approximately 92% of Olympic marketing revenue to organizations throughout the Olympic Movement to support the staging of the Olympic Games and to promote the worldwide development of sport. The IOC retains approximately 8% of Olympic marketing revenue for the operational and administrative costs of governing the Olympic Movement.

The NOCs receive financial support for the training and development of Olympic teams, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. The IOC distributes TOP program revenue to each of the NOCs throughout the world. The IOC also contributes Olympic broadcast revenue to Olympic Solidarity, an IOC organization that provides financial support to NOCs with the greatest need.

The continued success of the TOP program and Olympic broadcast agreements has enabled the IOC to provide increased support for the NOCs with each Olympic quadrennium. The IOC provided approximately US$318.5 million to NOCs for the 2001 - 2004 quadrennium.

The IOC is now the largest single revenue source for the majority of IFs, with its contributions of Olympic broadcast revenue that assist the IFs in the development of their respective sports worldwide. The IOC provides financial support from Olympic broadcast revenue to the 28 IFs of Olympic summer sports and the seven IFs of Olympic winter sports after the completion of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, respectively.

The continually increasing value of Olympic broadcast partnership has enabled the IOC to deliver substantially increased financial support to the IFs with each successive Games. The seven winter sports IFs shared US$85.8 million in Salt Lake 2002 broadcast revenue. The contribution to the 28 summer sports IFs from Athens 2004 broadcast revenue has not yet been determined, but the contribution is expected to mark a significant increase over the US$190 million that the IOC provided to the summer IFs following Sydney 2000.

The IOC contributes Olympic marketing revenue to the programs of various recognized international sports organizations, including the International Paralympic Committee, the Paralympic Organizing Committee, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Countries bidding to host the Summer Olympic Games or the Winter Olympic Games compete aggressively to have their bid accepted by the IOC. The IOC members, representing most of the member countries, vote to decide where the Games will take place. Members from countries which have cities bidding to host the games are excluded from the voting process, up until the point where their city drops out of the contest. Sochi, Russia, was elected as the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics on July 4, 2007 during the 119th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The next host city for the 2016 Summer Games will be announced at the 121st Session (which will also be the XIIIth Olympic Congress) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 2, 2009.

In recent years, the contest for the right to host the games has grown increasingly fierce. Allegations were leveled after the 1996 Olympics that Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) organizers bribed members of the IOC to obtain the Olympic Games. However, ACOG documents were destroyed prior to a formal inquiry and the allegations remain unproven. In his defense, ACOG Chairman Billy Payne said "Atlanta's bidding effort included excessive actions, even thought processes, that today seem inappropriate but, at the time, reflected the prevailing practices in the selection process and an extremely competitive environment." In 2002, Salt Lake City was involved in a bribery scandal but earlier stories, reported by British journalists Vyv Simson and Andrew Jennings, date back decades. Corruption in the IOC has been documented by numerous investigations. After the Salt Lake City scandal in which a number of IOC members were expelled following an extensive investigation, efforts were made to clamp down on abuses of the bid city process. More stringent rules were introduced and an advisory board of recently retired former athletes was set up. Critics of the organization believe more fundamental reform is required, for instance replacing the self-perpetuating system of delegate selection with a more democratic process.

Even legal attempts to sway the IOC to accept a city's bid can spark controversy, such as Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. Several human rights organizations spoke out against the controversial human rights condition of China, in conflict with the Olympic Charter of the IOC.

In an August 2007 interview on the Beijing 2008 website, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, the IOC "definitely would love to see the continents that have not yet organized the Games like Africa or Latin America do that in the future. I cannot tell you exactly when, but I will see it in my life... We believe in the near future we can determine the host country under this rotating system. As of now, we haven’t set a timetable for starting this system”.

Scandal broke on December 10, 1998, when Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler, head of the coordination committee overseeing the organization of the 2002 games, announced that several members of the IOC had taken bribes. Soon four independent investigations were underway: by the IOC, the USOC, the SLOC, and the United States Department of Justice.

Before any of the investigations could even get under way both Welch and Johnson resigned their posts as the head of the SLOC. Many others soon followed. The Department of Justice filed charges against the two: fifteen charges of bribery and fraud. Johnson and Welch were eventually acquitted of all criminal charges in December 2003.

As a result of the investigation ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned. This was the first expulsion or sanction for corruption in the more than a century the IOC had existed. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious. Stricter rules were adopted for future bids and ceilings were put into place as to how much IOC members could accept from bid cities. Additionally new term and age limits were put into place for IOC membership, and fifteen former Olympic athletes were added to the committee.

In 2006, a report ordered by the Nagano region's governor said the Japanese city provided millions of dollars in an "illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality" to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone.

International groups attempted to pressure the IOC to reject Beijing's bid in protest of the state of human rights in the People's Republic of China. One Chinese dissident who expressed similar sentiments was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for calling on the IOC to do just that at the same time that IOC inspectors were touring the city. Amnesty International expressed concern in 2006 regarding the Olympic Games to be held in China in 2008, likewise expressing concerns over the human rights situation. The second principle in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Olympic Charter states that The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. Amnesty International considers the policies and practices of the People's Republic as failing to meet that principle, and urged the IOC to press China to immediately enact human rights reform.

In August 2008 the IOC issued DMCA take down notices on Tibetan Protest videos of the Beijing Olympics hosted on youtube . YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint.

The Swedish government received a letter from the Vice President of IOC where she asked the minister of justice to take action against the file sharing network The Pirate Bay, that contains links to the opening ceremony from the olympics. In Sweden that would constitute the crime of "ministerstyre" (minister rule). The vice president of IOC is Swedish and has been reported to the police, since she should have known this is a crime.

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Youth Olympic Games

Singapore, host city of the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are planned to be an international multi-sport event held every four years in staggered summer and winter events complementing the current Olympic Games, and will feature athletes between the ages of 14 and 18. The idea for such an event was envisioned in 2001 by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge. On July 6, 2007, IOC members at the 119th IOC session in Guatemala City approved the creation of a youth version of the Olympic Games.

The summer version will last at most twelve days, with the first edition taking place in mid-summer of 2010; the winter version will last a maximum of nine days, with the first edition taking place in early 2012. The IOC will allow a maximum of 3,500 athletes and 875 officials to participate at the summer games, while 970 athletes and 580 officials are expected at the winter games.

Several other Olympic events for youth, like the European Youth Olympic Festival held every other year with summer and winter versions, and the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, have proven successful; the Youth Games would most likely be modeled after these. The YOG are a successor to the discontinued World Youth Games.

It has been stressed that the host city should not have to build any major venues, with the exception of some temporary structures or possibly an Olympic village. Also, all competitions must be held in the host city, ruling out any joint bids. According to bid procedures, the track and field stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies must hold 10,000 people, and a city must have a 2,500-seat aquatics facility (for Summer editions).

Each participating country would send at least four athletes. 170 countries are expected to participate in the 2010 Youth Summer Olympics. (There are over 200 National Olympic Committees, most of which participate at the "senior" Games). Participants will be grouped by age, for example, 14-15 years, and 16-18 years. One source indicates athletes will be chosen at least 18 months in advance, which suggests that some could be chosen as young as age 12. Other reports indicates the qualifications (which guidelines are being set in autumn of 2008) will occur between December 2009 and May 2010.At least one IOC member criticized the plan, noting that smaller teams from all countries may fail to capture the interest of the media, nations, and the athletes themselves.

Estimated costs are currently $30 million for the summer and $15 million-$20 million for winter games, primarily on infrastructure and lodging. The IOC will pay travel costs to the host city and room and board for the athletes and judges, estimated costs at $11 million. The funding will come from IOC funds and not revenues.

The budgets for the final two bids for the inaugural Summer Games came in at $75 million (Singapore) and $175 million (Moscow), much higher than the estimated costs. Bids with lower budgets were eliminated early in the process. Budgets for the inaugural Winter Games were more in line, with a range of $22 million for Innsbruck and $14 million for Kuopio. It has been stated the IOC will "foot the bill" for the Youth Games, but whether or not they will pay the first $15-30 million is as of yet unclear.

The sports contested at these games will be the same as those scheduled for the traditional Games, but with a limited number of disciplines and events. Of the 26 sports, the IOC plans, for example, not to include the water polo and synchronized swimming disciplines of aquatics, as well as the slalom discipline of canoeing on the schedule of events. The basketball competition may be “streetball,” in which games are held outside and sometimes with fewer players. The cycling disciplines are mountain bike and BMX, and road and track cycling were left off the schedule. Baseball and Softball were also not included on the list of sports. Other youth-driven sports may eventually be contested if backed by international sports federations. In November 2007, it was revealed that pentathlon will be included, as well as sailing, giving an edge to applicants near water.

The Winter edition will contest seven sports. Luge and bobsled are possible casualties considering the small number of worldwide venues and restrictions in building new venues. In the bidding for the first edition, one bid city was nevertheless planning to construct a bobsled/sleigh run (Harbin), while another was not offering bobsled as an event (Kuopio).

Another difference is that no national flags or anthems will be utilized. During medal ceremonies, only the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will be seen and heard in order to deemphasize international competition.

In early November 2007, Athens, Bangkok, Singapore, Moscow, and Turin were selected by the IOC as the five candidate cities among which the host city will be elected for the Inaugural Games. In January 2008, the candidates were further pared down to just Moscow and Singapore. Finally, on 21 February 2008, Singapore was declared host of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games 2010 via live telecast from Lausanne, Switzerland, winning by a tally of 53 votes to 44 for Moscow. Singapore is contesting all 26 sports.

On 2 September 2008 IOC announced that the IOC executive board had shortlisted four cities among the candidates to host the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. The four candidate cities were Harbin in China, Innsbruck in Austria, Kuopio in Finland and Lillehammer in Norway. IOC president Jacques Rogge appointed Pernilla Wiberg to chair the commission which analysed the projects. As with the Summer Games, the list was then shortened to two finalists, Innsbruck and Kuopio, in November 2008. On December 12, 2008, it was announced that Innsbruck beat Kuopio to host the games.

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Bids for the 2012 Summer Olympics

London 2012 logo

Nine cities submitting bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics were recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Committee shortlisted five of them—London, Madrid, Moscow, New York City, and Paris—from which London eventually prevailed; it will become the first city to host the Olympic Games for a third time. The bidding process for the 2012 Olympics was considered one of the most hotly contested in the history of the IOC. Paris was seen as the front-runner for most of the campaign, but last-minute lobbying by London's supporters was one factor that led to the success of its bid. Madrid was regarded as one of the favourites, but the city did not receive enough votes to surpass Paris and London. The fact that Spain held the Olympics in 1992 was also a major detriment to Madrid's bid.

After a technical evaluation of the nine original bids, the top five were shortlisted on 18 May 2004, becoming official candidates. The remaining applicant cities—Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro—were eliminated. Four of the five candidate cities were highly recognised national capitals, which lent an increased competitive interest to the final bidding phase. Paris and Madrid earned the top scores during the application phase, but in early 2005, a more thorough evaluation of the candidates put Paris and London in a close race that became tighter as the final vote approached. On 6 July 2005, in a four-round exhaustive ballot of the IOC (gathered at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore), Moscow, New York City, and Madrid were eliminated in the first three rounds. London won the final round by a margin of four votes over Paris and secured the right to host the 2012 Olympics.

In the month after the election, members of the Paris 2012 delegation argued that the London delegation had violated IOC rules. The key points in the accusations were London 2012's abortive athlete incentive initiative and lobbying by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A public statement by IOC President Jacques Rogge dismissed these accusations, stating that the competition had been fair. Another controversy occurred during the bidding process when an undercover investigation by British television series Panorama revealed a corruption scandal associated with IOC member Ivan Slavkov and Olympic agents, who offered to deliver votes from IOC members to any 2012 Olympic bid in return for financial favours. Still recovering from the effects of the Salt Lake City scandal, the IOC reacted swiftly and punitively toward the rule-breaking individuals.

The Olympic bidding process begins with the submission of a city's application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by its National Olympic Committee (NOC) and ends with the election of the host city by the members of the IOC during an ordinary session. The process is governed by the Olympic Charter, as stated in Chapter 5, Rule 34.

Since 1999, the process has consisted of two phases. During the first phase, which begins immediately after the bid submission deadline, the "applicant cities" are required to answer a questionnaire covering themes of importance to a successful Games organisation. This information allows the IOC to analyse the cities' hosting capacities and the strengths and weaknesses of their plans. Following a detailed study of the submitted questionnaires and ensuing reports, the IOC Executive Board selects the cities that are qualified to proceed to the next phase. The second phase is the true candidature stage: the accepted applicant cities (from now on referred to as "candidate cities") are required to submit a second questionnaire in the form of an extended, more detailed, candidature file. These files are carefully studied by the IOC Evaluation Commission, a group composed of IOC members, representatives of international sport federations, NOCs, athletes, the International Paralympic Committee, and international experts in various fields. The members of the Evaluation Commission then make four-day inspection visits to each of the candidate cities, where they check the proposed venues and are briefed about details of the themes covered in the candidature file. The Evaluation Commission communicates the results of its inspections in a report sent to the IOC members up to one month before the electing IOC Session.

The IOC Session in which a host city is elected takes place in a country that did not submit an application to stage the Olympics. The election is made by the assembled active IOC members (excluding honorary and honour members), each possessing one vote. Members from countries that have a city taking part in the election cannot vote while the city is in the running. The voting is conducted in a succession of rounds until one bid achieves an absolute majority of votes; if this does not happen in the first round, the bid with the fewest votes is eliminated and another voting round begins. In the case of a tie for the lowest number of votes, a special runoff vote is carried out, with the winner proceeding to the next round. After each round, the eliminated bid is announced. Following the announcement of the host city, the successful bid delegation signs the "Host City Contract" with the IOC, which delegates the responsibilities of the Games organisation to the city and respective NOC.

The five highest-rated applicants progressed to the next phase as official candidate cities. As stipulated, the IOC granted them the right to use the Olympic rings on their candidature emblem, together with a label identifying each as a Candidate City.

The Parisian bid suffered two setbacks during the inspection: a number of strikes and demonstrations coincided with the visit, and a report was released stating that Guy Drut, IOC member and one of the key members of Paris's bid team, would face charges over alleged political party financial corruption.

On 6 June 2005, the IOC released the inspection team's evaluation reports of the five candidate cities. Although these documents did not contain scores or rankings, the report for Paris was considered the most positive, followed closely by London, which had narrowed most of the gap observed at the time of the first-phase evaluation in 2004. New York City and Madrid also obtained very positive evaluations, while Moscow was considered the weakest bid. On the same day, New York City's bid suffered a major setback following the report that the State of New York refused to fund West Side Stadium, a New York 2012 centrepiece. The New York City campaign devised an alternative plan within a week, but such a major change with only one month remaining before the final vote damaged the city's chances.

The opening ceremony of the 117th IOC Session was held at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in Singapore on 5 July 2005. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the guest of honour and officially opened the session. Song, dance and martial arts exhibitions with the theme "One Voice, One Rhythm, One World" began the ceremony.

On 6 July 2005, the election day, the IOC Session was held at the Raffles City Convention Centre. It began at 1:00 UTC with the one-hour final presentations of the candidate cities, followed by a half-hour press briefing, in the following order: Paris, New York City, Moscow, London and Madrid. The bid presentations ended at 9:00 UTC and a presentation of the Evaluation Commission's final report preceded the election. Of the 116 active IOC members, 17 could not vote in the first round, leaving 99 members able to exert their voting rights.

The electronic ballot began at 10:26 UTC, and the first three rounds eliminated Moscow, New York City and Madrid, respectively. After a city was eliminated, members from that city's country were allowed to vote in the following rounds. London and Paris made it to the fourth and final round of voting, which concluded at 10:45 UTC. An hour later, at 11:49 UTC, London was formally announced as the winner by Jacques Rogge. Approximately one billion viewers watched the announcement on live television.

After the announcement, the ballot results were published: London gathered more votes in the first, third and final rounds, while Madrid won the second round despite falling short on votes in the third round and being eliminated. The competitiveness of the bids from Paris and London was ultimately demonstrated by a four-vote difference in the final round.

After Birmingham and Manchester failed to deliver winning bids for the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, the British Olympic Association (BOA) decided that London was the best choice to pursue the goal of hosting the Summer Olympics. The centrepiece of the London bid was the Lower Lea Valley, the location designated to be transformed into a world-class Olympic Park and Olympic Village. It will be connected via a high-speed shuttle service, dubbed the Olympic Javelin, and existing transportation links capable of transferring 240,000 people per hour. After the closing of the Games, the area will be transformed into the largest urban park developed in Europe for more than 150 years, with an area of 500 acres (2 km2), and will be home to the Olympic Medical Institute (OMI), a sports medical and rehabilitation centre. The bid called for substantial improvement of the London Underground system, which is supposed to be able to handle the Olympic crowds, and more investment into new Olympic sites throughout the city. London was considered to be the second favourite for the election after Paris, but intense lobbying by the London bid team at the later stages of the bidding process swung the votes in their favour. On 7 July 2005, the victory celebrations were marred by the terrorist attacks on London's public transport system. This prompted immediate fears concerning the security of the 2012 Games, to which the IOC and British officials reacted in a reassuring way.

Paris was widely regarded as the firm favourite to become the host city of the 2012 Olympics, considering it lost out on its previous bids for the 1992 and the 2008 Summer Olympics to Barcelona and Beijing, respectively. The Parisian bid planned for the placement of sports venues in the city's northern and western clusters, with the Olympic Village stationed in between, less than 10 minutes away from each one. The plan received a high technical score from the IOC due to the city's well-maintained transport system and plentiful accommodation, making it able to handle a large number of tourists. The bid garnered much support from Parisians and the nation on the whole. Although much of the infrastructure, like the Stade de France, was already in place, the plan proposed to build temporary sports venues that could be moved and reused elsewhere after the Games. Paris's rich cultural and Olympic heritage were emphasized as well as the city's experience in hosting successful international sporting events, such as the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. All of these items placed Paris in a very strong position.

In early 2003, Madrid beat out Seville to represent the country on the international Olympic bidding stage. Madrid presented an above average bid where almost all sports venues were located within three clusters close to each other and to the city's centre. Several existing facilities ensured low expenditures would be sufficient to host the Olympics, while new and permanent sports venues would have provided a lasting Olympic legacy to the city. For the first time in the history of the Games, the transportation and accommodation of the hundreds of thousands of tourists gathering in the capital would be entirely dependent on the public transport infrastructure. All venues and public transports would have run on renewable energies, turning the Games of Madrid into "green Olympics". The city had experience in hosting numerous European and World championships and cups in several Olympic sports. Of the five candidate bids, Madrid's was the most supported by its city and national population, and its promotion was boosted with the support of the former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who lobbied votes for the Spanish capital. During the last stages of the bidding process, IOC member Prince Albert of Monaco questioned the security of Madrid, remembering the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks which took place in the city on 11 March 2004, and killed 191 people. The Spanish delegation found this remark especially offensive and regarded the final election of London over Madrid as a consequence of Albert's words. On 7 July 2005, merely a day after the announcement of London as the winning candidate to host the 2012 Olympic Games, there were terrorist attacks on London's public transport infrastructure, killing 52 people.

New York City was selected over San Francisco during the United States internal bid competition in 2002. The "Olympic X" plan was the main concept proposed by the bid team: two primary transportation lines would string together the several Olympic venue clusters in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and even East Rutherford, New Jersey; an 8,550-room Olympic Village would be located at the lines' intersection. Within the clusters, existing sites such as Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, USTA National Tennis Center, and Giants Stadium and Continental Airlines Arena (Meadowlands Sports Complex), would stand next to new venues, like the Queensbridge Athletic Center, Greenbelt Equestrian Center and the Flushing Meadows Regatta Center. The city assured plentiful accommodation and possessed a high-level hosting experience, and the city's ability to market itself throughout the world, was seen as one of its strongest aspects. The bid was dealt a setback when New York State authorities refused to approve the construction of the West Side Stadium, the plan's main venue, hampering the bid's chances in the short-run. The city's bid was revived when it announced an agreement to construct a new stadium (Citi Field), which was billed as the potential primary venue for the ceremonies and athletics. New York City was never seen as a front-runner, and its chances for getting the Games were hurt after Canada secured the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Moscow's plan for the 2012 Olympics were to be built upon the legacy created by the 1980 Summer Olympics. It called for every single competition to be staged in sports venues within the city limits and in clustered areas around the Moscow River, which would have made it one of the "most compact Games ever" according to the bid's head Valery Shantsev. All existing venues would have been extensively renovated and new venues were to be constructed and tested in time for the Olympics. The centrepiece and core of the city's Olympic bid was the new, modern Olympic Village, that would be constructed on one of the river banks. Despite a high support from the city and national population, plus an extended hosting experience, Moscow suffered from insufficient accommodation and an old transport system which may not have been able to cope with the expected traffic during the Olympics.

In December 2003, the British prime minister Tony Blair spoke about the London bid during a "sports breakfast" he hosted during a summit in Nigeria. Blair mentioned the bid in context of the positive legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester: "It was partly the success of the Commonwealth Games that inspired our bid for the Olympics." Since the IOC expressly forbids any international promotion of bids before the final candidature phase, it wrote to leading British officials asking for an explanation concerning the alleged violation. The chairmen of the Commonwealth Games Federation and the British Olympic Association, and spokesmen from Downing Street and London 2012 denied any violation of the IOC's ethical code, insisting that Blair's comments were taken out of context as there was no intention to promote the bid. Nevertheless, to prevent future ethical clashes, barrister Michael Beloff was appointed the ethics commissioner for the London bid two months later.

On 4 August 2004, BBC's Panorama broadcast the results of a year-long investigation in which the reporters posed as consultants from a fictitious firm "New London Ventures", which was supposed to represent businesses interested in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London. The report unveiled how some Olympic agents could guarantee votes from certain IOC members to the London bid, in exchange for favours or money. The undercover team secretly filmed its encounter with one of these agents, Goran Takac, who presented them to Ivan Slavkov, an IOC member and the Bulgarian Olympic Committee's president. Slavkov stated he was open to negotiation since he had not made up his mind about which 2012 candidate city would get his vote. Takac mentioned that Slavkov's position on the IOC was an advantage to bypass the rigid rules concerning meetings with other members, and that Slavkov's services fee was included on the initial figures given to the reporters.

In the days leading to the programme's broadcast, the IOC Ethics Commission launched an enquiry to investigate the accusations made in the documentary. Even though the Panorama reporters clearly stated that the London bid was nowhere associated with the investigation, the bid officials made further statements claiming the team had no knowledge and involvement, hoping to distance themselves from the scandal: "What I have to make clear is that London 2012 knew nothing about this—we have nothing to hide," said Alan Pascoe, a London 2012 vice chairman, committing to "do everything we can to co-operate and take this story off the running order". Sebastian Coe, also a vice chairman at the time, reaffirmed Pascoe's words and assured "London 2012 has acted properly and ethically throughout the bidding process." After watching the documentary, IOC members and officials cleared London 2012 of any wrong-doing.

On 7 July 2005, during the 117th IOC Session, Ivan Slavkov was expelled from the organisation following an 84–12 voting by the IOC members.

The Paris delegation, led by Bertrand Delanoë, argued that Tony Blair and the London delegation had broken the IOC rules. On 11 July 2005, Delanoë stated: "They have not respected the rules established by the International Olympic Committee. I do not say that they were flirting with the yellow line, I say that they crossed the yellow line". A controversial move by the London bid team was its initiative to offer incentive packages for participating athletes, which included free flights, food, vouchers for long-distance calling and other financial accommodations. Immediately after announcing the initiative, London withdrew it, most likely as a result of Jacques Rogge raising concerns over its potential to start a "bidding war". Paris also claimed that the lobbying by Tony Blair was illegal, an accusation that was strongly denied by Downing Street. It was not until 4 August 2005 that Jacques Rogge suppressed any further controversies by saying in a statement: "I made it very clear that, in my opinion, the competition was fair. It was conducted according to the rules that we have set out". Delanoë's comments were criticised by Parisian political leaders; Claude Goasguen, president of the UMP Party, stated: "One cannot make such type of accusations without delivering any proof".

Even before the election, tensions grew between the French and British delegations, already in Singapore. The Paris bid team considered submitting a complaint against London bid consultants Jim Sloman and Rod Sheard after they stated that the Stade de France was not adequate for athletics, an action that goes against the IOC rules which forbid any bid to make statements about a rival bid. The London team promptly denied that the two men were under contract with the bid at that time, and underlined that their opinions did not reflect the views of the London bid.

By the end of 2005, Lambis Nikolaou denied Gilady's claims: "All speculations regarding my role in the third round of candidate cities for 2012 are completely unfounded. I declare that I did not vote during the third round as I had announced during the election in question." This statement was confirmed by the IOC voting numbers, which demonstrate that, even if Nikolaou had voted for Madrid, the city would have failed to beat Paris in the third voting round. Gilady later apologised by letter to Nikolaou, denying that he had mentioned Nikolaou's name.

Then-French President Jacques Chirac became the subject of controversy the day before the International Olympic Committee was due to pick a host city. Chirac made comments stating that "the only worse food than British food is Finnish" and "the only thing the British have done for Europe's agriculture is mad cow disease". Not only were Chirac's comments considered unsportsmanlike where the normal etiquette is not to criticize rival cities, there were two IOC members from Finland who would vote in the final ballot. While Paris was widely acknowledged as the front runner, the narrow loss to London led many to believe that Chirac's comments were at fault.

Besides the initial nine applicant cities, other cities also wished to bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but the bids were not internally selected by the NOC (in case of more than one bidding city from the same country), were not put forward to the IOC, or were withdrawn before filing the necessary paperwork.

The Nigerian capital, Abuja, planned to present a bid to become the first African city to stage the Olympic Games, but ended up not filling its application. In Asia, three cities were interested in holding the Games, but did not officially submit a bid: Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Tel Aviv. In South America, the Brazilian Olympic Committee chose Rio de Janeiro over São Paulo, and if Rio de Janeiro had been selected by the IOC, it would have been the first Olympiad staged in South America. In Canada, Toronto initially planned to gain hosting rights for 2012 after losing the 2008 Olympics bidding process, but because Vancouver landed the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Canadian city cancelled these plans. In the United States, the city of New York was picked by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) over San Francisco, although several other cities submitted candidatures to become the American candidate for the 2012 Olympics; these included Houston, Washington D.C. (in cooperation with nearby Baltimore), Cincinnati, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Tampa (in cooperation with nearby Orlando). Several European cities wanted to follow the likes of London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris, and were thus hopeful to gain their NOC's support. Germany chose Leipzig over Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Stuttgart, while in Spain, Seville lost out to Madrid. Other referenced cities were Budapest, Milan, Rome, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Oslo and Copenhagen.

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Wild card (sports)

The term wild card refers broadly to a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play.

In international sports, the term is perhaps best known in reference to the Olympic Games. Countries which fail to produce athletes able to meet performance requirements to compete are granted "wild cards", which enable them to send competitors to the Games even if those competitors' abilities are well below Olympic standards. This rule is somewhat controversial, and International Olympic Committee head Jacques Rogge advocated abolishing it, but it is still in place as of the lead-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics. The wild card rule has enabled sportspeople such Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, Eric "The Eel" Moussambani, Paula Barila Bolopa, Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar and others to take part in the Games, and in some cases achieve international fame for their courageous but fruitless efforts. On rare occasions, a competitor who gained entry by wild card succeeds in winning a medal; Kye Sun-Hui won gold in judo at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

In North American professional sports leagues, wild card refers to a team that qualifies for the championship playoffs without winning their specific subdivision (usually called a conference or division) outright. The number of wild card teams varies. In most cases, the rules of the league call for the wild card team to survive an extra round and/or to play the majority of their postseason games away from home.

The term should not be confused with playoff formats that call for a set number of teams to qualify per division. The American Football League's 1969 playoffs (qualifying the top two finishers from each division), the National Basketball Association's 1967-1970 playoffs (qualifying the top four finishers from each division) and 1970-1972 playoffs (qualifying the top two finishers in each division), and the National Hockey League's 1968-1974 and 1982-1993 playoffs (qualifying the top four finishers from each division) should not be confused with wild-card playoff formats. When a wild-card playoff format is used, the number of teams that may qualify per division is not fixed; the divisional champion will usually qualify automatically, but non-division finishers qualify based on record either in the league overall or within a conference.

In Major League Baseball, the wild-card playoff spot is given to the team in each league with the best record among the non-division winner. This was implemented after the league expanded to 28 teams and realigned its two leagues to have three divisions. Since a three team playoff would be uneven, the wild card was created to field a fourth team. This was also seen as a way to increase a team's chances of making the playoffs. Since the wildcard gives non-first place teams a chance to make it to the post season a team in division with a dominant 1st place team can still hope to advance. Furthermore the "wildcard races" in each league provides excitement late in the season. Even if dominant teams have locked up their divisions, there is still a spot to be had. Also since the wildcard isn't confined to one division over another, fans are treated to a league-wide race for the fourth spot. The wild card has been in effect since 1995, although it was first intended to be used in 1994, when the playoffs were canceled due to the players' strike.

A wild-card team must surrender home-field advantage in its Division Series (ALDS and NLDS) and, if it wins through, in the League Championship Series (ALCS and NLCS). For the World Series, however, home-field advantage is determined beforehand, without reference to wild-card status. (Prior to 2003, it was decided by alternating each year between the American and National leagues, and since 2003 has been granted to the winner of the All-Star Game).

In the 2002 World Series, both the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants were wild-card teams, the only time this has happened since the inception of the wild card. The World Series champions in 2003 and 2004 were also wild-card teams. From 2002 to 2007, at least one wild-card team advanced to the World Series.

Since the MLB wild-card format was introduced in 1994, there have been several instances in which a team failed to make the playoffs despite having a better record than another team within its own league that made the playoffs by winning its division.

Currently in the NFL, each of the two conferences send two wildcard teams along with four division champions to its postseason. The first round of the playoffs is called the "Wildcard Round". In this round, each conference's two best (by regular-season record) division champions are exempted from play and granted automatic berths in the "Divisional Round". The four division champions are seeded from #1 through #4, while the two wildcard teams are seeded #5 and #6; within these separations, seeding is by regular-season record. In the "Wildcard Round", the #6 team (a wildcard team) plays against the #3 team (a division champion) and the #5 team (a wildcard team) plays against the #4 team (a division champion). The division champions have automatic home-field advantage in these games. In the "Divisional Round", the worst seeded remaining team plays the #1 seeded team, while the best seeded remaining team that played in the wildcard round play the #2 seed. Both the #1 seed and #2 seed have home-field advantage in the divisional round. Though it is called the "Divisional Round", it does not necessarily pit divisional champions, who are decided by regular-season records. See NFL playoffs.

The NFL was not the first league to ever use the wildcard format. The American Football League, from which the NFL adopted many of the elements that characterize today's Professional Football, introduced the format in 1969, its final year. After that season, the AFL West's second-place Kansas City Chiefs defeated the AFL East champion New York Jets 13 - 6, in Professional Football's first-ever wildcard playoff game on December 20, 1969. The next day, the AFL West's champion Oakland Raiders defeated the East's second-place Houston Oilers. The Chiefs then defeated the Raiders in the 1969 AFL championship game, and went on the fourth AFL-NFL World Championship, where they became the first wildcard team to win that event, crushing the NFL's overrated Vikings, 23 to 7.

After the NFL realigned into two conferences of three divisions each in 1970, it wanted an even four-team playoff field in each conference. This was established by having the three division champions in each conference joined by the best second-place finisher in the conference. At first, this team was referred as the "Best Second-Place Team" (or sometimes simply as the "Fourth Qualifier"). The media, however, referred to the qualifying teams as "wildcards", as they had in the 1969 AFL playoffs. Eventually, the NFL officially adopted the term. From 1970-1977, the divisional playoffs featured the #1 seed hosting the wild card team and the #2 seed hosting the #3 seed unless the #1 seed and wild card team were divisional rivals. In that case, the #1 seed hosted the #3 seed and the #2 seed hosted the wild card team. (This policy is currently used by Major League Baseball in its Division Series).

The number of wildcard qualifiers was expanded to two per conference in 1978 - the divisional winners were granted a bye week whilst the wildcard teams played (hence the origin of the phrase "Wildcard Round"). Like wildcard teams before, the wildcard game winner played the #1 seed, or the #2 seed if they and the #1 seed were divisional rivals. The playoffs were expanded again to three wildcards per conference in 1990 with the lowest ranked divisional winner losing its bye (and divisional rivals could now meet in the divisional playoffs). Following the addition of the Houston Texans in 2002 the league added a fourth division to each conference. The league decided not to change the number of playoff teams and thus the number of wildcard qualifiers was reduced to two per conference.

In professional tennis tournaments, a wild card refers to a tournament entry awarded to a player at the discretion of the organizers. All ATP and WTA tournaments have a few spots set aside for wild cards in both the main draw, and the qualifying draw, for players who otherwise would not have made either of these draws with their professional ranking. They are usually awarded to players from the home country, promising young players, players that are likely to draw a large crowd, or players who were once ranked higher and are attempting a comeback (e.g. Alicia Molik at the 2006 US Open). In 2001, Goran Ivanišević won the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championships having been handed a wildcard entry by the organising All England Tennis and Croquet Club.

In motorcycle racing the term 'wild card' is used for competitors only involved in individual rounds of a championship, usually their local round. Local riders taking advantage of their local knowledge (often having raced that circuit on that bike before) and affording to take risks without planning for a championship, often upset established runners. Example of these are Norifumi Abe, during his debut as a wildcard rider in the 1994 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix, he stunned the crowd by challenging for the win as well as briefly leading the race until he crashed out at the closing stage of the race. That led him to a works ride with Yamaha later in the year. Makoto Tamada and Shaky Byrne have both taken double victories in Superbike World Championship rounds in their home countries.

Each Grand Prix host Federation (FMNR) may nominate 3 wild card entries for the 125 cc and 250 cc classes in their own Grand Prix only.

The MSMA (Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers’ Association) may, at each event, nominate 1 wild card entry for the 250 cc and MotoGP classes.

The FIM may, at each event, nominate 2 wild card entries for the 125 cc and 250 cc classes and FIM/DORNA may, at each event, nominate 1 wild card entry for the MotoGP class.

Each Event host Federation (FMNR) may nominate 4 wild card entries for the Superbike class and 2 wild card entries for the Supersport and Superstock classes, in their own event only.

The FIM may nominate 2 wild card entries for the Superbike class.

Wild Card entries are not unknown in auto racing either, although modern-day Formula One makes it prohibitively expensive and manpower-heavy for teams to enter a single F1 race. John Love came close to winning the 1967 South African Grand Prix in a wild card type situation, long before the term had been coined. Although the term is rarely used in NASCAR, the concept of a road course ringer is similar. Before the late-1990s, NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races in the West and Northeast respectively would have several drivers from the Winston West and Busch North series, as the series regulations were very similar, and until the mid-2000s, ARCA drivers would usually attempt Cup races in the Midwest and at restrictor-plate races. A similar event occurs during the NASCAR All-Star Race, where one driver who fails to qualify for the race is allowed in (Via Fans Choice). This is the NASCAR All-Star Race Fan-Vote. The Current 2008 Winner was Kasey Kahne, who is the only Fan-Vote winner to actually win the race.

Although the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League include wild-card teams in their playoff structures, the term "wild card" is seldom used in the NBA or NHL; instead, each playoff team is most commonly denoted by its seeding position within the conference.

In the NHL, division champions within each conference are given the #1 through #3 seeds based on their regular-season records. The five wild-card teams are awarded the #4 through #8 seeds, also based on their regular-season records. The division champions (first, second, and third seeds) and the best wild-card team (fourth seed) are given home ice advantage in the opening playoff series, in which they face the eighth-, seventh-, sixth- and fifth-seeded wild card teams, respectively.

The initial bracketing of the NBA playoffs by seed is identical to that of the NHL. However, the NBA playoffs have one feature unique in North American professional sports—home court advantage is determined strictly by regular-season record, without regard to seeding.

Before the 2006-07 NBA season, the NBA seeded its teams in the same manner as the NHL. Now, the NBA seeds the three division winners and the wild-card team with the best record by regular-season record. This means that the wild-card with the best record can now get a seed as high as #2 (if that team is in the same division as the team with the best record in the conference); however, the next four wild-card teams will still be limited to the #5 through #8 seeds. This change was made to ensure that the two best teams in each conference could not meet until the conference, and also (allegedly) to try and eliminate incentives for a playoff-bound team to deliberately lose games at the end of the regular season in order to "choose" a higher-seeded team that has won fewer games (and, due to the unique home-court rules of the NBA, possibly gain home-court advantage for that series).

In the NBA, the winner of the #1 vs. #8 series goes on to face the winner of the #5 vs. #4 series, while the winner of the #2 vs. #7 series faces the winner of the #6 vs. #3 series. Notice that the winner of the #1 vs. #8 series will usually play against a wild-card team in the second round of the playoffs; this is arranged deliberately to "reward" the #1 seeded team by giving it the most winnable matchups in the first and second rounds.

In the NHL, however, the play-off format differs slightly from that of the NBA. In the NHL, the highest winning seed of the first round plays the lowest winning seed of the first round in the next round of the play-offs. For example, if the #1, #4, #6, and #7 seeds win their respective first round series then the second round of the play-offs will match the #1 seed (highest) versus the #7 seed (lowest) and the #4 seed (2nd highest) versus the #6 seed (second lowest). Home ice advantage in each NHL playoff series prior to the Stanley Cup Finals is granted by superior seed, even if the "wild card" team had a better regular season record. For the Finals, the team with the better record will receive home ice advantage.

Although the term "wild card" is not generally used in this context outside North America, a few competitions effectively employ such a system to determine one or more places in a future phase of a competition.

The Euroleague, a Europe-wide competition for elite basketball clubs, has one "wild card" advancing from its first phase, officially the Regular Season, to its second, called the Top 16.

The competition begins each year with 24 clubs, divided into three groups. After the groups play a double round-robin for the Regular Season, eight clubs are eliminated, and the remaining clubs advance to the Top 16. The top five clubs in each group automatically advance. The final "wild card" spot in the Top 16 goes to the sixth-place club with the best overall record, with three potential tiebreaking steps. A coin toss is not indicated as a possible step.

The Heineken Cup, rugby union's analogue to the Euroleague, also has "wild card" teams advancing to its knockout stages.

Like the Euroleague, it starts each season with 24 clubs and divides them into pools, with each team playing a double round-robin within its pool. However, Heineken Cup pools consist of four clubs instead of the Euroleague's eight, resulting in six pools. Eight clubs advance to the knockout stages. The top club in each pool advances; the two "wild card" places are filled by the two second-place clubs with the best overall records. The tiebreaking procedure, used to determine overall seeding, is almost as elaborate as that of the NFL, with a total of seven steps (a coin flip is the last).

In the Philippine Basketball Association, the playoffs are done after an elimination (from 2004-06, a classification) round where the participants of the wildcard phase are to play another set of games against each other in order to determine the one team that will advance to the quarterfinals.

The winner of the wildcard playoffs, varying in format from a round-robin, a single-elimination or sudden death, usually meets the strongest quarterfinalist (the 3rd seed). The wildcard winner's next opponent for the quarterfinals rested while the wild card phase was ongoing so the chance of advancing to the semi-finals (in which a team rested longer) is slim.

The only wildcard champions are the 7th-seeded Barangay Ginebra Kings in the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference, in which the top 2 teams were given semifinal byes while the bottom eight went through a knock-out wild card tournament. Since the addition of the quarterfinal bye, no wildcard team has entered the Finals, although the ninth-seeded Shell Turbo Chargers won the third-place trophy on the 2004-05 PBA Fiesta Conference, same with the 5th-seeded Air21 Express at the 2005-06 PBA Fiesta Conference.

For both the junior and senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (which starting in the 2008-2009 figure skating season will be merged into a single two-division event), the hosting federation may issue a wild card invitation to one of their own skaters should no skater from the host country qualify for the event through the Grand Prix circuit. Use of the wild card has not been common; however, it was used at the 2007-2008 Junior Grand Prix Final by the Polish federation.

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Source : Wikipedia