USOC chairman calls for IOC members to be stripped of Olympic host city voting right
Larry Probst, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), is calling for International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to be stripped of their right to vote for Games host cities.
Speaking on the eve of a crucial meeting to choose a US city to bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, he believes the IOC should adopt a model similar to that used by FIFA when selecting World Cup host nations where only member of the Executive Committee gets a vote.
“I’d like to see the [IOC] Executive Board decide where the Olympic Games are held,” Probst, who became a member of the IOC last September, told Sport Business Journal.
“I will probably get in trouble for saying this, but they are supposedly the most sophisticated and knowledgeable people in the membership, so I would like to see the [Executive Board] have more of a say.”
The IOC currently has 106 members, with only 15 of these making up the Executive Board, meaning that the radical move suggested by Probst would dramatically cut the number of voters when deciding Olympic host cities.
Probst, who is also a member of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Executive Council and the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) Executive Committee, would also like to see those involved on Olympic business spend less time travelling.
“Seriously, the amount of time that people spend travelling to [IOC headquarters in] Lausanne for three to four hours of meetings is outrageous,” Probst, recently appointed head of the IOC’s Press Commission, told Sport Business Journal.
“Sooner or later we have to embrace modern technology, and do some of these things through video-conferencing.”
Probst is due meet with the USOC Board of Directors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tomorrow to create a shortlist of two or three cities as potential bidders for the 2024 Games.
Although the identity of the chosen cities will not be made public, it is known that Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC are among those to be considered, after the withdrawal of New York City and Philadelphia last month.
After tomorrow’s meeting, the USOC is scheduled to select its final bid city by next year before the IOC selects the Games host city in 2017.
The US has not hosted a Summer Olympics since Atlanta 1996.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.