L.A., Paris ar­rive for Olympic meet­ings

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRA­HAM DUN­BAR

The United States is go­ing to host its first Sum­mer Olympics since 1996.

France is go­ing to host its first Sum­mer Olympics in at least 100 years.

Just don’t ex­pect the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to an­nounce this week which of Los An­ge­les or Paris will host the 2024 Olympics and which will get the 2028 edi­tion.

Bid lead­ers from L.A. and Paris ar­rived this week­end in the Olympic cap­i­tal city Lau­sanne ahead of their Tues­day morn­ing pre­sen­ta­tions to the full IOC mem­ber­ship. France’s Pres­i­dent Emmanuel Macron ar­rives Mon­day to of­fer his sup­port.

Both bid teams de­clined of­fi­cial com­ment Sun­day about an ex­pected de­ci­sion to pre­pare for a dou­ble host­ing award in Septem­ber, when the IOC’s an­nual meet­ing is held in Lima, Peru.

A con­sen­sus deal be­tween the bid cities and IOC lead­er­ship seems likely be­fore any­one ar­rives in the Peru­vian cap­i­tal.

Paris has been seen as favourite for 2024 — the cen­te­nary of its last Olympics — af­ter re­cent com­ments by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. 2024 bid chair Casey Wasser­man ac­knowl­edg­ing their open­ness to look ahead to 2028.

Still, the cities must first com­plete the re­quired pre­sen­ta­tion Tues­day of their tech­ni­cal plans for stag­ing more than 300 medal events across more than two weeks. An IOC eval­u­a­tion panel hailed them last week as out­stand­ing.

In a nor­mal Olympic host­ing race, the Swiss mid­sum­mer event would be a key stage in a fiercely fought cam­paign.

How­ever, the 2024 Sum­mer Games bid­ding stopped be­ing nor­mal last De­cem­ber when IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach said the ex­ist­ing se­lec­tion process pro­duced too many losers.

A dou­ble award — due on Sept. 13 — has seemed in­creas­ingly likely in the seven months since Bach’s state­ment up­ended cal­cu­la­tions.

It of­fers the IOC sta­bil­ity with two world-class cities for the next decade af­ter years of busted bud­gets for hosts and po­lit­i­cal defeats to sink po­ten­tial can­di­dates. It also guards against a 2024 loser re­fus­ing to bid again for 2028.

The plan must be ap­proved by the full IOC of up to 95 mem­bers on Tues­day af­ter­noon, hours af­ter L.A. and Paris present on stage at a con­ven­tion cen­tre on the out­skirts of Lau­sanne.

It would be a stun­ning up­set if the typ­i­cally con­ser­va­tive IOC fails to rat­ify a for­mal pro­posal made last month by the Bach-chaired ex­ec­u­tive board.

The board opened a two-day meet­ing Sun­day that will fo­cus on other Olympic busi­ness.

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