Olympics Officials Move Closer to Giving Bids to Paris and Los Angeles
The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday solidified an unusual plan to award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics at the same time in September, with one to be hosted by Paris and the other by Los Angeles.
Paris is favored to hold the Games in 2024, the centenary of the last time it hosted the Olympics, while Los Angeles is expected to hold the Summer Games for a third time in 2028. Voting by delegates of the I.O.C. will take place on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.
If the two cities cannot agree on a hosting arrangement by then, only the 2024 Games will be awarded in September, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Representatives for the Paris and Los Angeles bids made formal presentations to Olympics officials on Tuesday in Lausanne, Switzerland. French President Emmanuel Macron attended the meetings to rally support for the Paris bid. President Trump did not attend, though he expressed support for the Los Angeles bid on Twitter.
The rare decision to name the hosts of separate Games simultaneously — established with a unanimous vote of I.O.C. members on Tuesday — is an effort by the organization to counter diminished interest shown by democratic nations in hosting the Olympics amid exorbitant costs, white-elephant stadiums, widespread corruption, rampant doping and limited appeal to the youth audience.
Thomas Bach of Germany, president of the I.O.C., has called for an overhaul of the bidding process, saying that too many cities spend millions of dollars as candidates only to go away as losers and become reluctant to bid again. The awarding of two Olympics at the same time would alleviate that concern for the Summer Games for at least the next decade.
The eagerness of Paris and Los Angeles, two of the world’s great cities, to host the Summer Games serves as a welcome rebuttal for the I.O.C. to the embarrassing withdrawals of Boston, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg, Germany, as candidate cities to host the 2024 Olympics. Only Paris and Los Angeles remain in the bidding for those Games.
Paris and Los Angeles are also being viewed as cities that might help reform the Olympics by using mostly existing and temporary facilities to reduce prohibitive costs in staging the Games.
While it is impossible to gauge in advance the voting preferences of delegates of the I.O.C., Paris is considered the 2024 favorite for a number of reasons.
It would be exactly 100 years since it last hosted the Summer Games in 1924. The I.O.C. has also shown a penchant for rewarding cities that continue to bid on the Games after failing to secure them. Since hosting the Summer Olympics in 1900 and 1924, Paris sought without success to host the 1992 Games that went to Barcelona, the 2008 Games held in Beijing and the 2012 Games awarded to London.