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Volume 6 No. 248
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IOC Awards 2024, 2028 Games; L.A. And Paris Promise Cooperation

The IOC on Wednesday unanimously awarded L.A. the 2028 Games, a $5.3B project that marks the culmination of a decade-long effort to return the event to American soil. As expected, there was no opposition from members to the back-room deal hatched earlier this year to give Paris the 2024 Games simultaneously. “For me this is truly a day of real emotion,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “What does history feel like? It feels like this. For me, it’s not just the happiness of the win but the joy of beginning.”

WORKING TOGETHER: L.A. and Paris squabbled at times during the campaign, but with the order now settled, they have promised to share ideas and plan to improve the athletes’ and fans’ experience. They also have promised to communicate about changes to the sport program, which host cities are now able to propose under new IOC rules. “One thing we did not expect was that even this victory would be shared with our friends from Los Angeles,” said Paris bid co-Chair Tony Estanguet. “All together, we will share the unique power of Olympism, city to city, flame to flame, all together. With your help we will start a new journey of trust, optimism and shared success.”

SELLING CERTAINTY: With the combo deal, the IOC now can sell certainty over the Games location to sponsors and broadcasters. It also sidesteps at least one competitive vote at a time when a scandal over possible vote-buying in Rio and Tokyo is emerging. “It is hard to imagine something better,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. At one point, the IOC’s traditional skepticism about U.S. Games emerged briefly. The only question of the day’s proceeding, from Tunku Imran of Malaysia, was whether the U.S. government had guaranteed special athlete and coach visas for the ’28 Games. The White House has given those assurances.