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Paris gives backing to a 2024 Olympics bid

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Paris gives backing to a 2024 Olympics bid
Will Paris bid for the 2024 Games? Photo: AFP
11:04 CEST+02:00
The likelihood of Paris making an official bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games took a giant step closer on Monday when the city's council voted in favour of proposing the city's candidacy to the International Olympic Committee.

On Monday morning the 163 city councillors in Paris gathered to vote on the question of whether Paris should bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

In the end the council gave its overwhelming backing to a bid, with most political parties in favour of throwing Paris's name into the ring.

The vote is seen as a decisive step on the road to officially announcing a bid, but a final decision is expected to be taken in June after a period of public consultation. Paris has until September 15th to announce it's nomination.

"Now we are off  on an Olympic adventure," said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo after the vote.

 

Hidalgo, who for a long time was reticent, has in recent months come round to the idea that Paris should host the Olympics exactly 100 years after it last held the Games.

With Paris now clearly in favour of bidding for the Games, the chances of an official candidacy being put forward are almost certain, but the onus will now move to the country's national Olympic committee which must co-sign any official nomination.

President Francois Hollande put his weight behind a Paris bid in November.

He is due to meet International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach in Lausanne on Thursday during an official visit to Switzerland.

A recent poll suggests the French public are also in favour with 61 percent supporting the idea of a Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

"France has the qualities to win" the Olympic race, said head of sport, Bernard Lapasset who headed an official committee that presented a report on the possible campaign to Hidalgo and the French government on Thursday. 

READ ALSO: What a Paris Olympic Games would look like

After handing over his report Lapasset said that France needed to "move as quickly as possible" onto negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about a bid.

Lapasset said the Games could be organised for under €4.5 billion ($5 billion).

Even if Paris throws its hat into the ring it faces tough competition in what would be a fierce battle to convince the IOC it should host the 2024 Games.

The cities of Hamburg, Boston and Rome have already announced their intention to bid to host the Games.

A final decision will be taken by an IOC congress in Lima, Peru in mid-2017.

One other issue that may deter Paris is that memories are still fresh of when Paris suffered a traumatic loss, despite being the hot favourites, to London to host the 2012 edition.

Jean-Francois Lamour, a double Olympic fencing champion and sports minister when Paris lost its bid in 2005, said this was the last-chance saloon for the City of Light.

"A new defeat would mean the end of France's ambitions to host this magical competition," he said.

 

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