SBD/September 11, 2013/Olympics

Larry Probst Says "Only A Few" U.S. Cities Could Realistically Contend For '24 Olympics

Probst doesn't think Tokyo's selection will impact a possible U.S. bid
USOC Chair Larry Probst believes that there are "only a few U.S. cities that could realistically contend for the 2024 Olympics if the country decides to move forward with a bid next year," according to Tales Azzoni of the AP. Probst yesterday said, "It's got to be a city that is compelling to people around the world, that resonates with all of the IOC membership. That's not a long list of cities." Probst said that the issue "will be discussed by the USOC at its meetings in December and a timetable on the process to select the possible bid city could be created." Azzoni reports the U.S. received a "big boost when Anita DeFrantz was elevated" to the IOC's policy-making exec board. DeFrantz "will work closely with new IOC President Thomas Bach." Probst said that the USOC board "will be updated about the level of interest received from the various cities," and added that he "doesn't think the selection of Tokyo for the 2020 Games should play a significant role on a possible U.S. bid." The U.S. last hosted the Olympics in '02 (AP, 9/11). SI.com's Brian Cazeneuve noted each country "may select one candidate city," and among U.S. candidates, officials in both N.Y. and Chicago, which "lost out to host the Games in 2008 and 2012, have been lukewarm about trying again." But L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said that his city, which hosted the staged Olympics in '32 and '84, "would be interested in hosting once more." Massachusetts lawmakers "passed a resolution in August to perform a feasibility study on a potential candidacy for Boston" and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has indicated that the city "would like to host." Cazeneuve noted Dallas already "has a bid committee in place," and observers can "expect a bid" from the Baltimore/DC area (SI.com, 9/10).

AMERICAN INFLUENCE: In DC, Barry Svrluga notes Probst's election to the IOC "could be a signal of a thawing of the organization’s relationship with its American members." Probst becomes the fourth American IOC member, joining DeFrantz, Jim Easton and Angela Ruggiero. The election of Probst, who received 71 votes for and 20 against, could "help boost American influence with the IOC" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/11).
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