Reporting from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia – During his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 128th Session in Kuala Lumpur, IOC President Thomas Bach made it clear that he still expects a 2024 Olympic bid from the United States despite Boston being removed from the race Monday.
After a week of placing blame and name-calling between Boston Mayor Walsh, No Boston Olympics spokespeople and to some extent Thomas Bach himself, Bach is ready to move forward, as long as an American city besides Boston is included.
“After having benefited from the consultation with the IOC in this newly created invitation phase five NOCs have already committed themselves to a candidature: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, USA,” Bach said, naming interested nations instead of named bid cities as he typically would.
Currently Paris, Hamburg, Budapest and Rome are the named cities now that Boston is out of the race – but Bach is waiting for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to name a replacement. Baku, Azerbaijan and Toronto, Canada are also considering bids.
“All of them have made it very clear that the wide-ranging reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 played a decisive role in their decision about presenting a candidature,” Bach added.
Earlier in the week both Walsh and opposition group No Boston Olympics blamed Bach for the bid’s demise calling him “out of touch” and telling him to “look in the mirror.”
Bach said in the press conference that he found Boston’s story so difficult to follow that he eventually gave up and blamed Boston 2024 for breaking promises made to the USOC. Mayor Walsh who wrote last year that he would back the bid on Monday refused to put his taxpayers on the hook, effectively killing the campaign. The USOC and Boston 2024 agreed to “part ways.”
National Olympic Committees have until September 15 to nominate a city to bid. The USOC has reportedly now turned to runner-up Los Angeles and also spoken to Washington and San Francisco who were also seeking the USOC’s nomination.
The USOC said Monday that they would come to a decision by the end of August. Bach expects that decision to be the name of a new bid for 2024.