IOC sees firm new bid by U.S.

IOC president Thomas Bach making opening remarks at an executive board meeting in Malaysia ahead of Friday's vote for the host cities of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games. The German wants the multi-event Games to be s
IOC president Thomas Bach making opening remarks at an executive board meeting in Malaysia ahead of Friday's vote for the host cities of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games. The German wants the multi-event Games to be sustainable and feasible.PHOTO: REUTERS

Strong candidate expected for 2024 Games despite Boston pulling out over budget issues

KUALA LUMPUR • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday it was "confident" that the United States would find a "strong candidate" to host the 2024 Summer Games, despite Boston pulling out of the contest shortly before a mid-September nomination deadline.

"We are confident that the US will make the right choice and that they can still put forward a strong candidate by Sept 15," the IOC said in a statement from Kuala Lumpur, where it is currently meeting.

Boston announced on Monday that it was no longer seeking to host the 2024 Games due to lack of public support, with its mayor saying that his city's taxpayers could not afford to host the large-scale event.

The US Olympic Committee (USOC) now has until August to find a possible replacement, with Los Angeles having shown interest.

"USOC have made it clear that they would still very much like to see a US city host the Olympic Games 2024," the IOC statement continued.

"We are still in the invitation phase and this is exactly what this phase is for, to allow NOCs (national Olympic committees) and cities to explore a possible bid."

The US has not hosted the Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996, or the Winter Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002.

There are currently four other cities seeking to host the 2024 Olympics: Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome. A final decision is set to be made in 2017 in Lima, Peru.

The news of Boston's withdrawal is the latest setback for the Olympic bidding process and comes after four cities dropped out of the running for the 2022 Winter Games.

The Chinese capital of Beijing will go head-to-head with the little-known Kazakh city of Almaty for the right to host the 2022 Olympics, when the IOC elects the winner at its 128th Session in Malaysia on Friday.

"The key issue is to deliver a great Games for athletes, and that means having (a bid) which offers great conditions in the sport facilities but also to have a project which addresses the issues of Olympic Agenda 2020," IOC president Thomas Bach told reporters.

"That means to have sustainable and feasible Olympic Games," he said of the 2022 bidders.

The past week has been a testing period for the next two Games organisers, who will be reporting on their progress to the IOC this week.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics finally appear to have been dragged back on track following long delays and questions over venues with sponsors finally getting on board.

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, meanwhile, have been forced to go back to the drawing board after plans for the new Olympic stadium were scrapped over costs earlier this month.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's surprise decision to take plans for the new National Stadium "back to zero" in the face of outrage over ballooning costs was the latest broken promise related to the Games, which Tokyo won in 2013 based largely on its organisational prowess and reputation for efficiency. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'IOC sees firm new bid by U.S.'. Print Edition | Subscribe