U.S. Receiving “Lot of Encouragement” From IOC Members For 2024 Olympic Bid, Probst Claims
A potential bid from America for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics is receiving strong support already from International Olympic Committee (IOC) members it was claimed today by Larry Probst, President of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
“On my various trips – whether it was Buenos Aires, Lausanne or Rome – in the last three or four months I have heard a lot of encouragement from various IOC members about the US putting forward a bid for 2024,” said Probst after a meeting of the USOC Board of Directors in San Francisco.
Last month a delegation from the USOC visited several cities who had expressed an interest in bidding for 2024, including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington.
“It is our intention to bid for 2024 if all the elements are in place and obviously we have the right message, we have the right technical plan, we have the financial support from the local community, we have the Governmental support ,” said Probst.
“A lot of things have to fall in place and we continue to focus on that objective.”
Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the USOC, revealed that they are currently talking to less than ten cities about the possibility of bidding and plan to visit several of them again next month.
“We’re on track to make our decision by the end of 2014 as to whether we want to bid and, if we do, who our city will be,” he said.
USOC officials want to conduct a more low-key contest on this occasion than they did to choose a bidder for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics when a number of cities, including the one nominated, Chicago, spent tens of millions of dollars on trying to secure the candidature.
“We’re going to try to avoid that process this time around because a lot of the cities spent north of $10 million (£6 million/€7 million),” he said.
Chicago ended up being humiliated as they were eliminated in the first round of voting by the IOC, who awarded the Games to Rio de Janeiro.
New York City had also failed miserably in their bid for 2012, which was awarded to London.
It means the US has not hosted the Summer Olympics and Paralympics since 1996, a Games widely considered the worst of recent times.
But the USOC is currently refusing to reveal publicly which cities they are in discussions with.
“We are going to keep it very informal and we’re going to continue to stay in discussions with cities we think can produce an excellent Games and can raise the money necessary to do that,” said Blackmun.
“We don’t want to have discussions on individual cities because some of those cities may elect not to go forward.”
The USOC’s new policy, pioneered by Probst and Blackmun, of engaging more with the wider Olympic Movement will be one of the main tactics in America’s armoury as the bid progresses.
“I think we have to continue being present [at international meetings] and being engaged,” said Blackmun
“I’ve spent a lot of the time on the road.
“We are enjoying being more involved than we have been if you look back over the last five or ten years.
“We need to continue being at the meetings and participating.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Insidethegames is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.