Lausanne: The International Olympic Committee is poised to hand the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles on Tuesday in a landmark double hosting deal.
The IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland had initially been forecast as a key stage in the battle for 2024, with teams from the French capital and California mega-city making fresh pitches to voters.
But the Paris-Los Angeles rivalry has been muted by an IOC plan to ensure that both cities come out as winners, with one hosting 2024 and the other taking its turn four years later.
The IOC has struggled to attract prospective hosts given the enormous cost of staging the Games and Olympic boss Thomas Bach has said he does not want to turn either Paris or Los Angeles away.
The double hosting plan was backed by IOC executives in June and is widely expected to win approval from the body's roughly 100 members later Tuesday.
Los Angeles, led by mayor Eric Garcetti, did little to quell mounting speculation it was prepared to wait.
"We are competing for 2024," Garcetti told reporters after Los Angeles made its presentation on Tuesday.
But he added that LA was keenly awaiting approval of the double hosting proposal, which may make the 2024 race "moot".
"LA is ready to throw these Olympics in two months if we are asked, or two decades if it came to that because we have everything ready," Garcetti said.
"You can't be a kid with your toys and say if you don't give me exactly what I want I'm getting out of here," added the LA mayor, who is a prominent member of the US Democratic Party.
"Working hard to get the Olympics for the United States (L.A.). Stay tuned!" President Donald Trump said in a tweet, without making reference to a particular year.
Working hard to get the Olympics for the United States (L.A.). Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2017
Paris 2024 front runner?
The French side has insisted it was only focused on 2024, the centenary anniversary of the last Games in Paris. The city mounted losing bids for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games.
LA last hosted the Olympic games in 1984.
French President Emmanuel Macron, a vocal 2024 proponent, was leading the Paris push in Lausanne.
"After three failed bids we don't want to lose a fourth one," Macron told reporters following the Paris pitch.
"I am here to convey a message to say our people are ready to host these Games," the French leader said in English.
He hailed the unified public support behind the bid and said that the Olympic movement's values — like tolerance and inclusivity — were entrenched France's "DNA".
Macron said 2024 was "the right moment" for Paris to host again and that as president he was keen to rally the country around a cause like the Games.
"It is good for a country to mobilise and back a project."
'Great' Olympic cities
Bach and the IOC have already endorsed Paris and Los Angeles as model hosts for their efforts to trim costs by using existing or temporary venues.
The Olympic movement has been stained by Games that erected grand multi-million dollar facilities that were left to crumble and rot.
"It truly is a tale of two great Olympic cities," said a report released last week by the 2024 Evaluation Commission.
Bach said on Monday that he was eyeing a "win-win-win" result from the 2024 bidding process, with Paris, Los Angeles and the IOC emerging victorious.
Assuming that happens, Bach said formal discussions will begin with both camps, with a goal of reaching consensus on which city goes first before the IOC's main annual meeting in Peru in September, when the 2024 host was due to be named.
Published Date: Jul 11, 2017 08:22 pm | Updated Date: Jul 11, 2017 08:22 pm