Rome Sends Strong Delegation To Lausanne To Discuss 2024 Olympic Bid

The Roman Colosseum could be used for the medals plaza at a Rome 2024 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

The Roman Colosseum could be used for the medals plaza at a Rome 2024 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

Rome sent a 24-strong delegation, including high-level government officials, to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne Thursday for a seminar for potential 2024 Summer Olympic host cities.

Rome promised a combination of “tradition and future”, all done on a cost-sustainable basis, if it wins the right to host the 2024 Games.

Delegates said that Rome plans to use upgraded, existing infrastructure – many that were used for the 1960 Games – to reduce costs and eliminate the risk of building white elephant stadiums.

Refurbished venues would include the Olympic stadium, which also hosted matches in the 1990 World Cup and now hosts Italian rugby internationals and other events.

Rome would have to build a velodrome and a rowing venue.

Undersecretary of State Claudio De Vincenti, representing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, told Reuters, “Italy is not just a country of cultural tradition but also of technological innovation.  Together with the international Olympic community we want to organize an Olympic Games which is a fusion of tradition and future.”

“We all think that Rome has all characteristics necessary for the Agenda 2020.  In particular, we already have the sporting infrastructure because of the heritage from our past experience.”

De Vincenti said there was popular support for the bid.  “There is a big enthusiasm in Italy for the bid, a candidacy is for the whole country, and there is cohesion between the national government, the city of Rome and the Olympic committee”.

Claudia Bugno, general director of the Rome 2024 committee, said the athletes would come first.  She said, “we want to have the athletes at the centre of our bid.  We are working with many sportsmen and many Olympians to present a bid that represents sport”.

Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino, promised transparency in public expenses.

Rome had to abandon its bid for the 2020 Olympic Games when the Prime Minister refused to underwrite the required financial guarantees amid an international economic crisis.

Claudia Bugno, general director of the Rome 2024 committee, said the athletes would come first.  She said, “we want to have the athletes at the centre of our bid.  We are working with many sportsmen and many Olympians to present a bid that represents sport”.

Rome is proposing a budget of 6 billion euros –  $2 billion (USD) of which would be covered by the IOC – or roughly half of what London spent in 2012.

Hamburg, Boston, Paris and Budapest have also announced bids for 2024.  Baku, and possibly Toronto are also said to be considering bids.  The IOC will select the host city in 2017.