Five cities embark on race to host the 2024 Olympics
September 16 2015 11:37 AM

Reuters/ Lausanne

Los Angeles is in the running to host a third Olympic Games while Hamburg, Paris, Rome and Budapest will battle to bring the multi-sport extravaganza back to Europe after the five cities were officially named as candidates to host the 2024 Summer Olympics on Wednesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will select the winning bid at its session in Peru in 2017, announced the final list of bidders after the deadline for submissions ended at midnight (central European time) on Tuesday.

"The IOC welcomes five outstanding cities to this strong competition," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a conference call. "From today on, these cities are candidate cities and are in competition for the honour and obligation to host the Olympic Games 2024."

After a disappointing campaign for the 2022 Winter Games, where just two candidates - Kazakhstan's Almaty and eventual winner Beijing - stayed in the race after four others pulled out due to financial concerns or a lack of public support, the IOC is keen to restore the image of the Olympics as a lucrative prospect.

It adopted a series of reforms under the banner 'Agenda 2020' which were aimed at making it easier to bid for, and cheaper to host, the Olympics.

"What we wanted to achieve is that the candidate cities show how Olympic Games would fit into their long-term strategy and vision for their city rather than the other way around," Bach said.

In a bidding race predicted to be the most hotly contested for at least a decade, Los Angeles, the US' second choice after Boston pulled out amid fears over cost overruns, is hoping to stage the Games for a third time after 1932 and 1984.

Paris, which had a failed bid for the 2012 Olympics, is eager to stage its own centennial Games after hosting them for the second and last time in 1924.

Rome, the 1960 hosts, had briefly campaigned for the 2020 Olympics before the government pulled the plug over budget concerns, while Budapest is seeking to join Russia as the only Eastern European countries to land the Summer Games.

Hamburg, which will hold a referendum in November on whether the city actually wants the Games, is proposing an inner-city Olympics with venues within walking distance for athletes after it beat out Berlin in Germany's bid race. The German port has never hosted the Games before.    

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