The final vote to elect either Los Angeles or Paris to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will remain in Lima, Peru, at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 130th Session September 13, officials confirmed Thursday.
Lima was chosen to host the event in Monaco in December 2014, but due to devastating floods that have hit Peru in recent months, leaving over 700,000 people homeless, the IOC has reportedly been considering other options.
A final confirmation was urgently needed in order for the nearly 100 IOC members to confirm plans along with the large bid delegations, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, who will travel to the city for the final presentations and vote.
However, President of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that despite the floods it is important that the IOC Session moves forward.
He explained in a statement “the eyes of the world will be on Lima and we believe that hosting the IOC Session will send a vital message to the world and to Peru that we are ready to welcome the world after the emergency situation.”
“In addition, the event will bring positive international attention to the country as we receive several Heads of State, many high-level government officials and over 2,000 international press members.
“This is why we have reaffirmed our support to the organization of the IOC Session. The event had already been declared of national interest and we will now issue an Executive Order that creates the framework to implement the declaration and support”.
IOC President Thomas Bach said “this decision of the IOC Executive Board is also a demonstration of solidarity with Peru and its people following the wish of the Peruvian government.”
“On this occasion the Peruvian government has given us all necessary assurances that the IOC Session will be organised in a great way.”
Last week, the IOC, together with Olympic Solidarity and the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO), announced a donation of USD $600,000 to support the immediate flood recovery efforts in Peru.
The Session is set to run from September 13 to 17 at the Westin Hotel and Convention Center with the 2024 host city election due to take place the first day.
There will be extra interest in this year’s Session as the IOC Executive Board is considering awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to LA and Paris – a decision that could mark an historical turning point for the IOC as it proactively tries to steer the Olympic movement back in the right direction.
Three cities have already dropped out of the race for 2024 and four cities abandoned bids for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games amid the public push-back of hosting the Games that are seen as too expensive, too risky and not worth the effort. It is hoped that awarding the Games to both cities will show the IOC’s commitment to its recent Agenda 2020 reforms that were put in place to control costs and promote positive legacy and sustainability.
The IOC has declared that both LA and Paris fit the Agenda 2020 model and can set an example for future bids and hosts.
City Mayors and national leadership typically attend the final bid presentations. LA’s Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Paris counterpart Anne Hidalgo are likely to attend the session but its too early to know if U.S. President Donald Trump will attend the meeting and French elections this spring will determine the President of France.
U.S. President Barack Obama attended the last American bid’s final presentation along with the First Lady when Chicago placed last after Rio was elected to host the 2016 Games in Copenhagen, Denmark. French President Jacques Chirac traveled to Singapore when Paris was narrowly defeated by London to host in 2012.
Milan, Italy is in the running to host the IOC Session in 2019 when the 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid winner will be elected.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.