U.S. Olympic Committee puts full weight behind LA 2024 bid, ruling out 2028 as consolation prize

With Los Angeles bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, U.S. officials appear to be sticking to an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to bringing the Games back to this country.

According to U.S. Olympic Committee documents made public Wednesday, if a rival candidate is chosen for 2024 — Paris and Budapest are also in the running — L.A. would not accept the consolation prize of hosting in 2028.

That possibility was raised late last year by an International Olympic Committee leader who suggested that his members might take the unprecedented move of choosing two winners when they gather in Lima, Peru, to vote on a host in September.

“The USOC board does not foresee pursuing any bid other than for the 2024 Games,” said minutes released from a USOC board of directors meeting in December.

The board also ruled out any bid for the 2026 Winter Games, though cities such as Reno and Salt Lake City had expressed initial interest.

The IOC has been looking at ways to revamp its bidding process, given that so few cities around the world seem willing to take on the expense and potential deficits involved with hosting the mega-sporting event.

In December, IOC President Thomas Bach suggested there were “too many losers” under the current format.

Bach mentioned the possibility of simultaneously choosing two winners — for 2024 and 2028 — at his organization’s crucial South American session in the fall. That way, two candidates could walk away from the vote happy.

USOC leaders did not exactly warm to the idea as they gathered for a board meeting in Northern California the following week.

At the time, Chairman Larry Probst told reporters that his organization would remain “absolutely laser-focused” on winning the bid for 2024.

Minutes from the meeting — which included a presentation by LA 2024 bid leaders — show the reaction among board members was even stronger.

“After a full and frank exchange of ideas, issues, and possibilities, there was general agreement that the LA 2024 bid is specifically configured and calculated for 2024 rather than 2028 activation,” the board meeting minutes said. “Neither LA 2024 nor the USOC have focused at all on the possibility of any bid other than for the 2024 Games.”

LA 2024 declined to comment on the new release of information.

david.wharton@latimes.com

Follow @LAtimesWharton on Twitter

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