Following withdrawals of city candidates for the 2024 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in September may just award the games to one of the remaining cities and offer the 2028 Games to the other.
As at Thursday, only Paris and Los Angeles still remain in the race following the withdrawal of Budapest on Wednesday. Before then, Rome had withdrawn last September while Hamburg and Boston dropped out of the race as far back as 2015.
The latest withdrawal was occasioned by the increasing cost of hosting. According to New York Times, more than 250,000 Hungarians signed a petition asking the government to withdraw the Budapest bid, saying the money would better be spent on hospitals and schools.
With the contesting bids now narrowed to two, election might not be necessary if the two candidates agree to host after each other, with one getting the 2024 and the other 2028.
If Los Angeles gets the nod for 2024 in September, it will be hosting again after that of 1984 and also become the first US city to host since Atlanta ’96.
With just two candidates, it will be smallest ever after three contested for the 2020 Olympics which Tokyo won. The two other contenders were Madrid and Istanbul.
There were six candidates for the 2016 Games which went to Rio. Before now, it was generally considered a great honour to be bestowed the hosting rights of the Olympics.
It was opportunity to showcase a city and indeed a nation’s splendour and welcome the entire world. But the escalating cost has been scary. It was claimed that Russia spent over $50 billion on Sochi Winter Olympics. This is a world record as the most expensive ever.
Another report has it that it took Montreal, Canada, 30 years to pay off the debt it took to finance the 1976 Olympic Games which most African countries boycotted.