Paris was awarded the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday, the first double allocation in almost one century in reaction to several cities withdrawing their bids.

The IOC members at the 131st IOC Session unanimously approved a so-called tripartite agreement between the cities and the IOC by a show of hands to settle the double awarding, instead of voting for a city in a secret ballot as in the past.

IOC members raised their hands as IOC president Thomas Bach had the two mayors, Anne Hidalgo of Paris and LA’s Eric Garcetti, standing next to him – and then handed them the cards “Paris 2024” and “Los Angeles 2028” typically used to announce host cities.

“Today is a historic and happy day for the entire Olympic Movement,” Bach said.

“It is the win-win-win we were all looking forward to. We have two great winners in Paris and Los Angeles, and in the Olympic Olympic Movement and the athletes. We have the two best possible hosts.

“I could not be more happy,” he said after the first double allocation since 1921, when Paris won the 1924 and Amsterdam the 1928 Games.

Garcetti spoke of “a pretty radical revolution.

“Usually you have two or three cities crying in the corner at this point being asked how they feel to have lost. There are no losers today. Today we modelled that dreams can come true for two cities,” he said.

Paris and LA originally both bid for 2024 but after the withdrawal of Boston, Budapest, Hamburg and Rome the IOC decided to secure the two strong bidders as future hosts.

The IOC gave the nod at an extraordinary Session in July and LA then agreed to go for the Games 2028, which would have normally been awarded in 2021. A new IOC evaluation committee report nodded off the switch as LA now became the first city to have 11 years to prepare for the Games.

Paris previously staged the 1900 and 1924 Games and will celebrate the world’s biggest sports event a third time with the slogan “Made for Sharing.”

LA has also hosted the Games twice before, in 1932 and 1984, and its 2028 edition has the motto “Follow the Sun.”

Both cities are making extensive use of existing and temporary venues and have huge public support, and are planning with budgets of well under 10 billion dollars – modest, especially compared to the estimated 50 billion dollars Russia spent on the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

They staged final 25-minute presentations each before the vote but due to the changed proceedings no heads of state and celebrities needed to make their way to Lima to sway IOC members.

The LA bid committee chief Casey Wassermann, like the rest of the LA team appearing in a suit and sneakers, said “We will not let you down” and added: “The opportunity ahead of us is unprecedented. There are 11 years to maximise it for city and the movement.”

Hidalgo spoke of “an incredible moment. I am so proud and happy today. We now have a big opportunity to create and build these Games for 2024 in a very strong partnership with LA.”

Garcetti said: “The Olympics are in our blood, our DNA. We are so excited … to reinvent the Games – and do this together with Paris.”

The awarding Wednesday at the first of four Session days in Lima lacked the excitement of past bid races and took place against the backdrop of corruption investigations in connection with the awarding of the 2016 Games to Rio de Janeiro and 2020 to Tokyo.

The double allocation gives the IOC security for many years and also time to change the bid process as many mainly western cities appear no longer interested in the Games, most of them because of the high costs.

Garcetti had one word of advice for future bidders though as he and Hidalgo encouraged other cities to step forward again.

“Be yourself, fit the Olympics to your city, not the city to the Olympics. Cities shouldn’t be scared,” Garcetti said.

Source: GNA/dpa/NewsGhana.com.gh

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here