Expressly encouraged by IOC President Thomas Bach to enter a bid for the Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Committee — although insisting it has not been decided whether or not to enter a candidate for the 2024 Summer Games — indicated it plans to narrow down a list of capable cities within the next couple of months. “It is a very informal process and our goal is to make a decision (on whether to proceed) by the end of the year and there haven’t been any formal deadlines or submissions,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun was quoted in U.S. media following a conference call earlier this week. “The dialogue is really around which cities do we think can put together a bid that is going to be a fantastic bid and which cities do we think have the opportunity to win. Before we make a final decision we need to get into fairly detailed discussions with hopefully a smaller number of cities so our objective is to be in that position within the next couple of months.”
Several cities have are reported to have thrown their hats into the ring — including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Diego — after the USOC sent letters to the mayors of America’s 35 biggest cities last year to gauge interest in bidding for the 2024 Games. With the USOC being tight-lipped ever since about any responses it received, no preferred candidate has been identified so far.
The United States has not hosted a Summer Games since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, with the USOC having spent several years patching up strained relationships with the IOC after New York and Chicago suffered embarrassing defeats when bidding for the 2012 and 2016 Games respectively. With the relationship restored and USOC chairman Larry Probst named chairman on the IOC Press Commission by President Bach, the American NOC feels encouraged to submit a candidate. “We have heard plenty of encouragement from multiple IOC members about a U.S. bid so I think IOC membership is favorably inclined towards us at least considering going forward,” Larry Probst has been quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune, with CEO Blackmun cautioning that his organisation has to take “a long hard look at the political climate” after painful rebukes the last two times they put forward bids.
This article has been republished with permission from Karl-Heinz Huba, the editor and publisher of The Sport Intern.