Fourth time lucky? Paris joins race to host 2024 Olympic Games

Fourth time lucky? Paris joins race to host 2024 Olympic Games
By Chris Harris with REUTERS
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Paris has today put itself on the starting blocks in the race to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

France’s capital – looking to banish the pain of losing out to London in 2012 – is hoping to hold the sports extravaganza for the first time in a century.

Other cities bidding to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games include Rome, Hamburg and Boston.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the candidate cities that made it to the shortlist in 2016, before the vote of the host city in summer 2017.

Paris will hope to improve on a dismal record on bidding to host the Olympics – it has lost out three times in the last three decades, to Barcelona (1992), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

Paris, the world’s most-visited city, last hosted the Olympics in 1924.

“Paris 2024 promises a feasible and flexible Games concept,” said Denis Masseglia, head of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF).

Paris’s Olympic plan, backed by the City Hall and French President François Hollande, took some time to emerge.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was reluctant about the potential cost but endorsed the idea in March after a study said the city’s existing infrastructures should help limit outlays, putting the hosting budget at 6.2 billion euros.

“We aim to highlight the unity and the solidarity of a cosmopolitan city, which I am sure will be one of the key strengths to win,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo said one factor that changed her mind about hosting the games was how millions of Parisians came onto the streets of the French capital in a demonstration of unity to mourn victims of the January attacks by Islamist gunmen on a satirical weekly and Jewish foodstore.

IOC president Thomas Bach told President Francois Hollande last April, Paris would make a “very, very strong candidate” for 2024.

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