Sum­mer Games sites

Paris and Los An­ge­les awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympics

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

LIMA — Paris and Los An­ge­les cel­e­brated their corona­tion as host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics on Wed­nes­day, de­liv­er­ing a jolt of good news for the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee as it bat­tles es­ca­lat­ing cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

In a drama-free con­clu­sion to a three-year bid­ding race, IOC mem­bers voted unan­i­mously to rub­ber-stamp a deal hashed out in July for Paris to be given 2024 and Los An­ge­les 2028.

The pre­or­dained out­come did not dampen the cel­e­bra­tions in­side the Lima Con­ven­tion Cen­ter as the Paris and Los An­ge­les del­e­ga­tions cheered and con­grat­u­lated each other.

IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach — a driv­ing force be­hind the de­ci­sion to award 2024 and 2028 at the same time — hailed the joint award as a “win­win-win”.

“It’s a mag­i­cal, unique vic­tory,” said Paris bid co-leader Tony Es­tanguet as French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron saluted a “vic­tory for France”.

Lead­ers of the Los An­ge­les del­e­ga­tion were sim­i­larly ec­static.

“This was the right an­swer, it was about fra­ter­nity, it was about friend­ship, it was about find­ing a win-win,” LA mayor Eric Garcetti said.

Bach said the Olympic move­ment had se­cured “the re­sult we were look­ing for”.

“I couldn’t be more happy than I am right now,” added the IOC chief. “We have the two best pos­si­ble cities for the Olympics in 2024 and 2028, in two great Olympic coun­tries.”

The vote marked the fi­nal act of a cam­paign that had been stripped of the usual in­trigue ever since Paris and Los An­ge­les laid the ground­work to carve up 2024 and 2028 fol­low­ing en­cour­age­ment from the IOC.

Third time lucky

The 2024 Games will mark the third time Paris has staged the Olympics, com­ing ex­actly 100 years af­ter it last hosted the Games.

“It’s a great feel­ing of hap­pi­ness to be bring­ing the Games back to Paris af­ter 100 years,” Paris mayor Anne Hi­dalgo said.

Gi­ant Olympic rings were un­veiled in front of the Eif­fel Tower just af­ter the an­nounce­ment was made as a small crowd braved a rain­storm in the French cap­i­tal to cel­e­brate.

The 2028 Olympics will be the first held in the US since the chaotic 1996 Games in At­lanta.

It will also mark the third time that Los An­ge­les has hosted the Olympics, fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful edi­tions in 1932 and 1984.

Paris and Los An­ge­les emerged from the ini­tial bid­ding race for the 2024 Games af­ter a num­ber of cities with­drew cit­ing wan­ing pub­lic sup­port and con­cerns over bud­get.

Ham­burg, Rome, Bu­dapest and Bos­ton all fell by the way­side dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, re­flect­ing the po­lit­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties in per­suad­ing vot­ers that stag­ing the Olympics is worth the multi-bil­lion-dol­lar price tag.

Bach first hinted that the dou­ble-award of an Olympics could be on the agenda in De­cem­ber last year, lament­ing that the bid­ding process pro­duced “too many losers”.

As the tus­sle for 2024 un­folded, and as the field thinned to leave just Los An­ge­les and Paris, the IOC’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to se­cure two high-qual­ity bids for the next two Sum­mer Games be­came ap­par­ent.

In July, the IOC an­nounced it would award the stag­ing rights for 2024 and 2028 at the same meet­ing in Lima, lay­ing the way for a swift agree­ment over the run­ning or­der.

“We cracked the code when the IOC changed the for­mula,” Los An­ge­les mayor Garcetti said.

“We’ve talked to a lot of folks who said it used to be about one cor­ner of the room cel­e­brat­ing and the rest cry­ing.

FRAN­COIS MORI / AP

A photo taken with a lens cov­ered with rain drops shows the re­flec­tion of the Olympic rings on Place du Tro­cadero, over­look­ing the Eif­fel Tower in Paris on Wed­nes­day. The French cap­i­tal will host the 2024 Sum­mer Games.

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