Olympic dou­ble

IOC says yes to Paris in ’24, and L.A. for ’28


LIMA, Peru — This was one of those rare Olympic mo­ments where ev­ery­one walked away a win­ner.

Paris for 2024. Los An­ge­les for 2028. And the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee for trans­form­ing an un­ruly bid­ding process to lock down its fu­ture by choos­ing not one, but two Sum­mer Olympics hosts at the same time.

The IOC put the rub­ber stamp on a pre-de­ter­mined con­clu­sion Wed­nes­day, giv­ing Paris the 2024 Games and L.A. the 2028 Games in a his­tory-mak­ing vote.

The de­ci­sion marks the first time the IOC has granted two Sum­mer Olympics at once. It came af­ter a year’s worth of scram­bling by IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach, who had only the two bid­ders left for the orig­i­nal prize, 2024, and couldn’t bear to see ei­ther lose.

Both cities will host their third Olympics.

The Paris Games will come on the 100th an­niver­sary of its last turn — a mile­stone that would have made the French cap­i­tal the sen­ti­men­tal favourite had only 2024 been up for grabs.

Los An­ge­les moved to 2028, and those Olympics will halt a stretch of 32 years with­out a Sum­mer Games in the United States. In ex­change for the com­pro­mise, L.A. will grab an ex­tra US$300 mil­lion or more that could help off­set the un­cer­tain­ties that lie ahead over an 11-year wait in­stead of seven.

Do­ing away with the dra­matic flair that has ac­com­pa­nied these events in years past, there were no se­cret bal­lots and no dra­matic re­veals to close out the vot­ing.

Bach sim­ply asked for a show of hands from the au­di­ence, and when dozens shot up from the au­di­ence, and no­body raised their hand when he asked for ob­jec­tions, this was deemed a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

A cer­e­mony that has long sparked par­ties in the plazas of win­ning cities — and cry­ing in those of the losers — pro­duced more muted, but still vis­i­ble, shows of emo­tion. Paris bid or­ga­nizer Tony Estaguent choked up dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion be­fore the vote.

“You can’t imag­ine what this means to us. To all of us. It’s so strong,” he said.

Later, Paris mayor Anne Hi­dalgo stood by Bach’ s side and dab bed away tears as the vote was an­nounced and the IOC pres­i­dent handed the tra­di­tional — but now un­needed — to she and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti. One read “Paris 2024,” and the other “Los An­ge­les 2028.”


From left, Paris Mayor Anne Hi­dalgo, IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach and Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti re­act af­ter the con­fir­ma­tion of the tri­par­tite agree­ment which awards Paris and LA with the Olympic Games of 2024 and 2028 dur­ing the 131th IOC Ses­sion in Lima, Peru.

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