Austria bidding for 2010 Games 

Austria has joined the race to host the winter Olympics in 2010.

The small European nation announced this past summer it was interested in hosting the Games, which they have held twice before, in 1964 and 1976. But it wasn?t until this week Austria endorsed a joint bid by Salzburg and Kitzbühel.

The final applicant city nominations aren?t due into the International Olympic Committee until February 2002 so it is likely a number of other nations will announce their intention to compete for the Games in the next few months.

Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic bid spokesman Sam Corea said: "We would expect there are going to be bids.

"We knew we would face all kinds of bids from Europe. But when we match up Whistler with the downhill in other locations we are amongst the top three already."

Corea said many of the bids are following the same model as the Vancouver-Whistler bid with a joint proposal between a major city and a smaller alpine resort.

"That seems to be the model right now," said Corea.

He hopes the fact that the Vancouver-Whistler bid has been in the planning stages for some time will give the bid the edge it needs to succeed.

"We think our planning is advanced," he said.

"We expected there would be bids, and they are all going to be challengers to us, but our plan is to put forward the best bid.

"There is only going to be one winner and it is going to be us."

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