IOC Declares Victory After A Nearly Disastrous Olympic Bid Race

Reporting from Lima Convention Center in Peru – Congratulations are abound in Lima Wednesday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded two Olympic Games simultaneously for the first time in history with Paris taking the torch in 2024 and passing it to Los Angeles in 2028.

Paris 2024 and LA 2028 leadership celebrate with IOC President Thomas Bach (centre) after ratification of double-allocation (GamesBids Photo)

Paris 2024 and LA 2028 leadership celebrate with IOC President Thomas Bach (centre) after ratification of double-allocation (GamesBids Photo)

In place of the traditional envelope-opening marking the announcement of the election results, the City’s Mayors were instead handed cards with “Paris 2024” and “LA 2028”.

“It’s an historic and happy day for the entire Olympic movement,” IOC President Thomas Bach said of the unfolding events at the Lima Convention Center.”

It has become the “win-win-win” situation Bach has been working towards with his dual-allocation concept that resulted in the naming of two host cities.

“I couldn’t be more happy than I am now,” Bach said with a huge smile at a press conference while sitting directly between two of the most prominent Mayors in the world – Paris’ Anne Hidalgo and LA’s Eric Garcetti.

The double-allocation could become the most shining moment of Bach’s presidency, serving the Summer Games with stability for the next decade.  The bid process has been caught in a downward spiral with more candidates dropping from the race than crossing the finish line.  The two candidates will give the IOC more time to reform its processes, enhance its image and show that hosting the Games doesn’t have to be a struggle.

The 2024 race began with five applicants, but that number dropped along with public confidence in the IOC leaving Budapest, Rome and Hamburg out of the race after suffering public push-backs.  That left the IOC scrambling for an answer, and finding the “no lose” conclusion.

Hidalgo and Garcetti were actively involved throughout the campaigns where the two cities started as fierce rivals in the race.  But on Wednesday the Mayors and self-proclaimed close friends had nothing but praise for one other.

Paris 2024 bid Chair Tony Estanguet will continue as the organizing committee Chair, Hidalgo confirmed when asked by GamesBids.com.

She said “We’re very lucky to have him working for us.  Tony is the Chair today, and the Chair tomorrow, and we are very happy and proud.”

IOC Vice President John Coates who was involved in the working group that investigated the double-allocation proposal agreed with Hidalgo adding “[Estanguet is] an outstanding person, and he’s exceptionally well-qualified to take it through the next phase.  You don’t always get someone who runs a bid who can run a Games. I’ve spent a lot of time with him.”

Paris 2024 bid Chair Tony Estanguet shoots a selfie of the new Olympic partner with IOC President Thomas Bach (GamesBids Photo)

Paris 2024 bid Chair Tony Estanguet shoots a selfie with the new Olympic partners and IOC President Thomas Bach (GamesBids Photo)

Garcetti suggested that Casey Wasserman would likely continue as Chair of the LA organizing committee, adding that “we’re lucky to have him.”

Alex Gilady, the IOC member from Israel said of the double-allocation “I saw wisdom at its best.  I saw how the IOC managed to take off all the criticism for trying to do something wrong by doing something so right with so much wisdom, and thinking for the future.”

Coates, who had originally questioned the concept when it was introduced by Bach said he quickly warmed to the idea.

He said “When you think it through, you realized it didn’t need a charter change, when the mechanics unfolded it was always possible.  I think there was a lot of cynicism from the members and maybe the media as well but I think its has worked very, very well.

“We (the Vice Presidents on the panel) all wanted it to happen so we found a way for it to happen.  

“I’m very proud of everyone who’s involved.”

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-nominated journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil

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