Toronto mayor won’t rule out pos­si­ble fu­ture Olympic bid

Tory says city now has fa­cil­i­ties to host in­ter­na­tional events

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY PAOLA LORIGGIO TORONTO

The mayor of Toronto says the city now has sports fa­cil­i­ties to host in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions that could pre­vi­ously only be held in Van­cou­ver, leav­ing the door open for a pos­si­ble fu­ture Olympic bid.

The city is cur­rently host­ing the Pan Am Games, which wrap up Sun­day, and Mayor John Tory said Wed­nes­day that the event has put Toronto on the global map for ath­letic events.

“There’s a whole va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional events and sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions that we’re now in a po­si­tion to host, which I think is good for Toronto, good for On­tario and good for Canada, and the Olympics is one of those, ob­vi­ously, about which there’s a great dis­cus­sion,” Tory said.

The mayor said he won’t dis­cuss a po­ten­tial bid for the Olympic Games un­til af­ter the Pan Am and Para­pan Am Games are over. The Para­pan Am Games end in mid-Au­gust.

Af­ter­ward, he said, of­fi­cials will “sit down and talk about these things to­gether as we will and de­cide what’s best in terms of what we go for­ward with, whether it’s an Olympic bid or a host of other things one could go for­ward with.”

“I guess ev­ery­thing’s on the ta­ble un­til you take it off the ta­ble,” he said.

Cities look­ing to host the 2024 Sum­mer Olympics have un­til Sept. 15 to sub­mit a let­ter of ap­pli­ca­tion to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee. Those deemed vi­able ap­pli­cants then have un­til early 2016 to turn in their bid con­cept.

The com­mit­tee will eval­u­ate those con­cepts and choose a num­ber of of­fi­cial can­di­date cities, which will be ex­am­ined by a com­mis­sion of ex­perts be­fore the win­ning city is be cho­sen in the sum­mer of 2017.

Toronto has made sev­eral failed bids for the Olympic Games, most re­cently when it lost to Bei­jing for the 2008 Sum­mer Games.

There is a prece­dent for a city host­ing the Pan Am and the Olympic Games in close suc­ces­sion. Rio de Janeiro hosted the Pan Am Games in 2007 and is set to welcome the Sum­mer Olympics next year.

John Fur­long, who led the bid and the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee for the 2010 Van­cou­ver Olympics, said there’s no doubt Toronto has the in­fra­struc­ture and the or­ga­ni­za­tional skills to host a large sport­ing event such as the Olympics.

“Of course they can, they’re do­ing it right now,” he said.

CP PHOTO

Toronto Mayor John Tory is pic­tured in Toronto on De­cem­ber 2, 2014. Tory says the city now has sports fa­cil­i­ties to host in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions that could pre­vi­ously only be held in Van­cou­ver.

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