25-1

Those are Ladbroke’s odds against New York’s winning the 2012 Olympic Games.

And if you want a sense of the hunger for good news, and what some might call wishful thinking, over at NYC2012, the metaphorical champagne corks were popping there when the bookie cut the odds from 50-1.

But while the professional oddsmakers are usually a pretty good place to turn, the structure of the Olympic Committee makes this hard to predict. One odd fact: International Olympic Committee members are on the body for life, and so the membership includes a weird array of sports bureaucrats including Vitaly Smirnov, who was appointed when he was vice-minister of sport of the Soviet Union.