IOC says yes to Paris in 24 and LA for 28

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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 yes­ter­day, giv­ing Paris the 2024 Games and LA 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 fa­vorite 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, LA will grab an ex­tra $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 dabbed away tears as the vote was an­nounced and the IOC pres­i­dent handed the tra­di­tional but now un­needed - to she and LA mayor Eric Garcetti. One read “Paris 2024,’ and the other “Los An­ge­les 2028.”

But there was no real drama. As if to ac­cen­tu­ate that, the LA del­e­ga­tion wore sneak­ers to the pre­sen­ta­tion. (Were go­ing to skip neck­ties, too, but changed their minds late.) Bid chair­man Casey Wasser­man said the footwear “re­flects who we are, and the unique brand of Cal­i­for­ni­a­cool that we will bring to the 2028 Games.” — AP

LIMA: In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach (C) poses for pic­tures with Paris Mayor Anne Hi­dalgo (L) and Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti dur­ing the 131st IOC ses­sion in Lima yes­ter­day. The ICO meet­ing in Lima con­firmed Paris and Los An­ge­les as hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, crown­ing two cities at the same time in a his­toric first for the em­bat­tled sports body. — AFP

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