Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games continues to push forward despite widespread belief that the campaign is set to be canceled within the month. On Wednesday the bid committee formed a nine-member athletes working group to help define the Olympic project as it aims for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote next year in Lima.
With 13 Olympic medals among them, the athletes selected for the group include windsurfer and four-time Olympian Alessandra Sensini, taekwondo athlete gold at the 2012 London Olympics Carlo Molfetta, fencer Valerio Aspromonte, gold medal with the foil 2006 World Fencing Championships Margherita Granbassi, sailor Giulia Conti, divers Tommaso and Nicola Marconi, judoka and gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics Giulia Quintavalle and water polo forward, gold medal with the Women’s National Team at the 2004 Games Tania Di Mario.
The team met Wednesday with bid General Coordinator Diana Bianchedi at the Rome 2024 headquarters for a three hour meeting to discuss next steps.
“With this working group we want to take advantage of their experience at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games,” two-time Olympic gold medalist Bianchedi said.
“This morning we had a constructive dialogue and shared our views on the Rome 2024 bid with the athletes. Their experience is at the center of our project and their contribution is crucial to guarantee that we create the best environment for the athletes that could be here in our city in 2024.
“Our proposal for the Games aims to provide them with a unique experience from the Athletes’ point of view and to let them live for few weeks the Italian way of life.”
Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi who was elected this past June has been opposed to the campaign and has said she will deny the bid her required endorsement that is due into the IOC October 7. She has agreed to meet first with Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malago to discuss the project as a courtesy, before the bid is formally disbanded.
But some optimism remains. Bianchedi said Tuesday that there is too much value in the bid to be ignored and it is possible for the campaign to move forward.
Rome last bid, then withdrew an application for the 2020 Olympic Games that were later won by Tokyo. The Eternal City last hosted the Games in 1960.
Rome is competing with Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris for the right to host the Games.