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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Paris and Los Angeles, Olympic capitals of the next decade

Por Jack Leyva

It will take some time before we hear again talk about the Olympic candidatures. Not only was the city that will host the games in 2024 selected but also the one that will do the same thing in the year of 2028, ten summers from now. Paris and Los Angeles, iconic cities of both Europe and America respectively, will host the most important sports events that will take place in those years after the International Olympic Committee (COI) in a historic decision officially selected them. Never before have been selected two cities at the same time. The truth is that they will carry the responsibility of receiving the best athletes of the world. Something that both have done before twice.

The fact has no precedent and that is why Thomas Bach, president of the COI, emphasized its importance for the Olympic movement as well as for the athletes. There are no doubts about the organizational capacity of the two cities, which belong to rich countries and are in the position to guarantee that everything will be ready for the right time.” Today is my pleasure to invite you to join the great Parisian family, a family that belongs to the world. I am most proud of this team and of bringing the games back to Paris. Our youngsters will be at the heart of these games. They represent our present, our hope and our pride,” said the mayoress of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, after the official decision was made.

In the run for hosting the games, the French city surpassed Hamburg (retired in November 29, 2015), Rome, (retired on September 21, 2016, and Budapest (retired on February 22, 2017). The list of candidates also included Los Angeles, but after these three European metropolises bailed out, the COI proposed to select the two cities at unison. Afterwards, it was determined that Paris would host the event of 2024, taking into account that the very same year is the Centennial Anniversary of the 1924 games, which took place in Paris, while Los Angeles would host the games of 2028, variants that were accepted in the COI session of Lima, Peru.

In the Peruvian city, the names of the two cities were drafted at the same time. Los Angeles’ mayor, Eric Garcetti, said, “To bring back the Olympics to LA gives us the opportunity to imagine how our city will be in ten years’ time. There, the games will not be a barrier to progress; we know they will be an acceleration force to reimagine a better city in which we will welcome them”. It is still too soon to assure it, but it is very possible that LA will keep the 1932 and 1984’s tradition of organizing athletics at the Memorial Coliseum. In Paris, the France Stadium, stage of the soccer finals in 1998 and the Euro cup in 2016, seems the ideal place for athletics in the Gallic city, and the Elysian Fields could be the perfect closure for the cycling competitions being that the place in which the France Tour gets to an end.