IOC can pick Los An­ge­les, Paris for 2024 or ’28 Olympics

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRA­HAM DUN­BAR

The IOC has de­cided it can pick both Los An­ge­les and Paris as Olympic host cities in Septem­ber when the 2024 and ’28 Sum­mer Games rights should be awarded at the same time.

In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­bers voted unan­i­mously Tues­day to seek a con­sen­sus three-way deal be­tween the two bid cities and the IOC ex­ec­u­tive board.

Talks will open with Paris widely seen as the favourite for ’24.

If a deal falls through, only the ’24 host­ing rights will be voted on when the IOC next meets Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.

Agree­ment seemed as­sured by the reaction of the two may­ors.

Eric Garcetti of Los An­ge­les and Anne Hi­dalgo of Paris emerged on stage hold­ing hands to ac­claim the de­ci­sion.

The may­ors were joined by IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach who raised an arm of each in a shared ges­ture of tri­umph.

A deal to make both cities win­ners would ful­fil a strat­egy Bach set in mo­tion last De­cem­ber to help safe­guard a sta­ble fu­ture for the sig­na­ture Olympic event.

“With Los An­ge­les and Paris, there are two fan­tas­tic cities from coun­tries with a pro­found Olympic his­tory,” Bach said ear­lier.

The IOC ap­proved the ex­pected dou­ble award af­ter hear­ing both cities present their ’24 host­ing plan at a con­fer­ence cen­tre in the Olympic cap­i­tal city Lausanne.

Both cities used 45 min­utes of videos and speeches, in­clud­ing French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron pro­mot­ing the Paris cause, in a closed-door ses­sion with In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­bers to ex­plain how they would host the ’24 Olympics.

Ear­lier Tues­day, the may­ors of Los An­ge­les and Paris said they could work to­ward a deal.

“We look for­ward to work­ing to­gether maybe not in com­pe­ti­tion but col­lab­o­ra­tion with Paris,” Garcetti said at a news con­fer­ence af­ter his city’s bid of­fi­cials opened the cam­paign event.

Garcetti and Hi­dalgo have long touted their good re­la­tions on other is­sues such as cli­mate change.

“We are all at the dis­po­si­tion and by the side of the IOC which was right to ask it­self this ques­tion,” Hi­dalgo said at the Paris news con­fer­ence, cit­ing her friend­ship with Garcetti as po­ten­tially a “key el­e­ment” to reach­ing an agree­ment.

The dual award can give the IOC a decade of sta­bil­ity with two world-class cities tout­ing fi­nan­cially se­cure bids.

Los An­ge­les plans to use only ex­ist­ing venues with zero risk of white ele­phant venues.

This fol­lows years of over­spend­ing by Olympic hosts and po­lit­i­cal de­feats to sink po­ten­tial can­di­dates.

The win-win op­tion also guards against a ’24 loser re­fus­ing to bid again for ’28.

It also avoids in­flict­ing a third re­cent de­feat on Paris — which lost with bids for the ’08 and ’12 Olympics — and the United States.

New York and Chicago both lost heav­ily in their bids for ’12 and ’16, re­spec­tively. Paris also failed with a 1992 bid.

“We lost three times, we don’t want to lose a fourth one,” Macron said at the news con­fer­ence.

“I’m here to con­vey the mes­sage that there’s a strong unity to back this can­di­dacy.”

Min­utes af­ter Macron spoke, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump wrote on Twit­ter: “Work­ing hard to get the Olympics for the United States (L.A.). Stay tuned!”

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