IOC to crown Paris, Los Angeles
(AFP) The International Olympic Committee will crown Paris and Los Angeles as hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics here Wednesday, delivering a welcome feel-good factor amid a gathering storm of corruption allegations.
For the first time since the awarding of the 1984 Olympics, when only one city was in the race, the traditional frenzy of last-minute lobbying, politicking and schmoozing will be strikingly absent in Lima.
In a historic move, the IOC brokered an agreement that will see Paris handed the 2024 Games with Los Angeles awarded 2028, an outcome that all sides are declaring as victory in a "win-win-win" deal.
IOC members will ratify the agreement following 25-minute presentations by Paris and Los Angeles, the last two cities left in the race for the 2024 Olympics.
"It's a big win and we are here to really enjoy it," said Paris 2024 bid co-chief Tony Estanguet, reflecting the triumphant mood amongst the French delegation as Wednesday's vote neared.
Los Angeles 2028 officials meanwhile insisted they are satisfied with the deal which means the Californian city will have to wait 11 more years before it stages the Olympics for a third time.
The city will receive roughly $100 million more than Paris in IOC funding for the games, a financial sweetener that delivers "a frankly much better economic result", according to 2028 bid Chief Casey Wasserman.
"We think the result is extraordinary," Wasserman told AFP. "We'll be celebrating on Wednesday night and through the weekend in LA for sure."
IOC chief President Thomas Bach, the driving force behind the double award, described the candidacies of Paris and Los Angeles as a "golden opportunity."
"For the IOC it would have been a huge mistake not seizing this golden opportunity," Bach said Monday.
Wednesday's vote marks the conclusion of a mostly good-natured bidding campaign notable for the number of cities who withdrew from the race citing waning public support and concerns over budget.
Hamburg, Rome, Budapest and Boston all fell by the wayside during the competition, reflecting the political difficulties in persuading voters that staging the Olympics is worth the multi-billion-dollar price tag.
IOC chief Bach first signalled publicly that the double-award of an Olympics could be on the agenda in December last year, lamenting that the bidding process produced "too many losers."
As the bidding battle for 2024 unfolded, and as the field thinned to leave Los Angeles and Paris as the last bids standing, the IOC's determination to lock in two high-quality cities for the next two summer games became apparent.
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