USOC Chair Says Only 2024 Olympic Bid in Focus For LA; No Thought Being Given To 2028

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chair Larry Probst said Tuesday that the U.S. is not currently considering hosting the Olympic Games in 2028 – this reaction coming at the conclusion of the USOC Board of Directors Meeting in San Francisco when he was asked about rumours that surfaced in Lausanne last week.

“We are absolutely laser-focused on bidding for the 2024 Summer Games and there is no thought or consideration being given to future games whether ’26, ’28 or beyond,” Probst replied when addressing suggestions discussed at the conclusion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board Meeting that the 2024 and 2028 Games might both be awarded to current bidders at the election scheduled for September 13 in Lima, Peru.

Los Angeles is the USOC’s candidate to host the 2024 Games against rivals from Budapest and Paris.

IOC President Thomas Bach last week didn’t rule out the possibility of the double-election, saying instead “let us study this question, which is not an easy one.”

With bidding and hosting costs spiraling out of control and the number of interested host cities in decline, the suggestions of leveraging two solid bid cities that are currently in contention is appealing for the organization.

The field for the 2024 Games started at five cities before Hamburg and Rome were forced to drop out when both lost necessary support, and three others decided not to submit initial applications after discussions with the IOC.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti meets with IOC President Thomas Bach and USOC Chief Larry Probst in Lausanne on September 3, 2015 (LA 24 Photo)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti meets with IOC President Thomas Bach and USOC Chief Larry Probst in Lausanne on September 3, 2015 (LA 24 Photo)

Bach also stressed that he wanted to reduce the number of “losers” that result from a bid campaign.

Probst said “I was in Copenhagen when Chicago did not win that bid, it wasn’t a lot of fun so I understand the concept of trying to reduce the numbers of losers.”

Probst added that he wasn’t sure what the solution could be.

LA 2024 Chief Gene Sykes told the Orange County Register last week “[the IOC] have not spoken to us about [a double-election] directly so we have no insight, and I would just make sure that I’m very, very clear we’re bidding for 2024. And the presentation here, the budget here, all of our work is aimed at 2024. We’ve given no consideration to 2028 at this point. I don’t want there to be any (confusion).”

Meanwhile USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said LA 2024 could expect some involvement by U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump in the final months of the campaign.

“I think we have a fan who will be in the White House after January 21,” Blackmun said.

“I think the president elect has more important things to do and more urgent things to do at the present time but we certainly expect to be in touch with the White House in due time.”

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of 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.

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