Lima - Paris
and Los Angeles celebrated their coronation as host cities for the 2024
and 2028 Olympics here on Wednesday, delivering a jolt of good news for
the International Olympic Committee as it battles escalating corruption
In a drama-free conclusion to a three-year bidding race, IOC members
voted unanimously to rubber-stamp a deal hashed out in July for Paris to
be given 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.
The pre-ordained outcome did little to dampen celebrations inside the
Lima Convention Centre, where Paris and Los Angeles officials cheered
and congratulated each other.
IOC President Thomas Bach - a driving force behind the decision to
confirm 2024 and 2028 at the same time - hailed the joint award as a
"It's a magical, unique victory," said jubilant Paris 2024 bid
co-leader Tony Estanguet as French President Emmanuel Macron saluted a
"victory for France."
Los Angeles 2028 leaders were equally ecstatic.
"This was the right answer, it was about fraternity, it was about
friendship, it was about finding a win-win," Los Angeles Mayor Eric
Garcetti told AFP.
IOC chief Bach meanwhile said the Olympic movement had secured the result "we were looking for."
"I couldn't be more happy than I am right now," Bach said. "We have
the two best possible games for the Olympics in 2024 and 2028, in two
great Olympic countries."
The vote marked the final act of a campaign that had been stripped of
the usual intrigue ever since Paris and Los Angeles agreed to carve up
2024 and 2028 following encouragement from the IOC.
The 2024 Games will mark
the third time Paris has staged the Olympics, coming exactly 100 years
after they last hosted the Games. Since then, France had made three
unsuccessful bids for the Olympics.
"It's a great feeling of happiness to be bringing the Games back to Paris after 100 years," Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said.
In Paris, giant Olympic rings were unveiled in front of the Eiffel
Tower just after the announcement was made as a small crowd celebrated
in driving rain.
The 2028 Olympics will be the first held in the United States since the chaotic 1996 Games in Atlanta.
It will also mark the third time that Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics following successful editions in 1932 and 1984.
Paris and Los Angeles emerged from the initial bidding race for the
2024 Games after a number of cities withdrew citing waning public
support and concerns over budget.
Hamburg, Rome, Budapest and Boston all fell by the wayside during the
competition, reflecting the political difficulties in persuading voters
that staging the Olympics is worth the multi-billion-dollar price tag.
IOC chief Bach first signalled publicly that the double-award of an
Olympics could be on the agenda in December last year, lamenting that
the bidding process produced "too many losers".
As the tussle for 2024 unfolded, and as the field thinned to leave
just Los Angeles and Paris, the IOC's determination to secure two
high-quality bids for the next two summer games became apparent.
In July, the IOC announced it would award the staging rights for the
2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same meeting in Lima, laying the way for a
swift agreement between the two over the running order.
"We cracked the code when the IOC changed the formula," Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti told AFP.
"We've talked to a lot of folks who said it used to be about one
corner of the room celebrating and the rest crying... I think we showed
that dreams can come true."
The smooth finish to the race also eliminates the risk of the vote
being tainted by the sort of scandal that has embroiled the ballot for
the 2016 Olympics.
The IOC was left tackling a fresh wave of graft allegations last week
when investigators in Brazil swooped on the country's Olympics chief
Nuzman stands accused of plotting to bribe IOC members into awarding Rio de Janeiro the 2016 Games at a 2009 vote in Copenhagen.
The allegations swirling around Rio's bid revived memories of the
Salt Lake City bribery scandal, which led to 20 IOC members being either
kicked out of the Olympics' ruling body or pleading guilty to accepting
bribes for votes.
French investigators meanwhile have already announced they are
investigating the 2013 vote in Buenos Aires which awarded the 2020
Olympics to Tokyo, following reports of secret payments into a
Singapore-based bank account linked to the son of disgraced former world
athletics chief Lamine Diack.
IOC official Dick Pound, who has been critical of Bach's handling of
recent corruption and doping scandals, believes the movement can however
have reason to celebrate after Wednesday's joint award.
"You've got Paris and Los Angeles locked in for the next two games, on top of Tokyo," Pound said.
"So that's three first-class host cities in a row. That's an excellent outcome."