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Olympics 2024, 2028: Paris, Los Angeles both poised to win race to host Games

International Olympic Committee (IOC) is poised to hand the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles on Tuesday in a landmark double hosting deal.

other sports Updated: Jul 11, 2017 15:06 IST
International Olympic Committee (IOC) is poised to hand the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) is poised to hand the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles.(AP)

The International Olympic Committee is poised to hand the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles on Tuesday in a landmark double hosting deal.

The IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland had initially been forecast as a key stage in the battle for 2024, with teams from the French capital and California mega-city making fresh pitches to voters.

LA was presenting their bid first on Tuesday, led by city mayor Eric Garcetti, bid chairman Casey Wasserman and Olympic champion runners Allyson Felix and Michael Johnson.

Paris brought its own political muscle -- in the form of President Emmanuel Macron -- who is expected to speak during the French presentation.

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But the Paris-Los Angeles rivalry has been muted by an IOC plan to ensure that both cities come out as winners.

The IOC, which has struggled to attract prospective hosts given the enormous cost of staging the Games, did not want to turn either city away.

So IOC chief Thomas Bach pushed a plan to have both 2024 and 2028 awarded together at the organisation’s main annual meeting in Peru in September.

That proposal, endorsed by Olympic executives last month, is expected to be rubber-stamped by the IOC’s roughly 100 members in a vote later on Tuesday.

With no other cities in the running, the vote would effectively guarantee hosting rights to Paris and Los Angeles.

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And it looks increasingly likely that Paris will go first.

The French side has insisted it was exclusively focused on 2024, the centenary anniversary of the last Games in Paris.

Los Angeles, which last hosted in 1984, has indicated it was open to waiting four more years.

Olympic values

Macron, who has been a vocal advocate of Paris 2024, met IOC top brass on Monday on a tour of the Olympic Museum, set on a hilltop overlooking Lake Geneva.

He portrayed the Olympics as a beacon of hope amid a deeply trouble political climate.

“In a fractured world where tensions are resurgent, we need the values of peace and tolerance that the Olympic movement illustrates and embodies strongly,” Macron told reporters.

Garcetti, like Macron avoided commenting on a battle over 2024, but described the Olympic movement as a “good and true” force during “this crazy moment in the world.”

The mayor, after his own tour of the museum, told reporters that his goal was to “bring America back to the Olympics and the Olympics back to America”.

‘Great’ Olympic cities

Both cities will take questions from IOC members following their presentations, but any criticism is likely to be tame.

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Bach and the IOC have already endorsed Paris and Los Angeles as model hosts, praising their efforts to trim costs by using existing or temporary venues, something Olympic bosses hope will become a growing trend.

The Olympic movement has been stained by Games that erected grand multi-million dollar facilities that were left to crumble and rot.

“It truly is a tale of two great Olympic cities,” said a report released last week by the 2024 Evaluation Commission.

Bach said Monday he was eyeing a “win-win-win” result from the 2024 bidding process, with Paris, Los Angeles and the IOC emerging victorious.

Assuming IOC members approve the double-hosting plan, Bach said formal discussions will begin with both camps, with a goal of reaching consensus on which city goes first.