It did not take long for the U.S. Olympic Committee to contact Los Angeles about stepping in as a replacement bidder for the 2024 Summer Games.
Hours after Boston dropped its troubled bid Monday, USOC officials called Los Angeles bid representatives, aid a person close to the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly.
People in and around the Olympic movement consider Los Angeles, which hosted the Games in 1932 and 1984, a front-runner to take over as the designated American candidate.
“It’s a safe bet,” said historian David Wallechinsky, who has written extensively about the International Olympic Committee. “IOC members have warm memories of 1984.”
There is still a chance the USOC will skip the 2024 bidding cycle to focus on the 2026 Winter Games or beyond. But after Boston’s withdrawal, the committee expressed interest in trying for 2024.
“The USOC would very much like to see an American city host the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Chief Executive Scott Blackmun said Monday. “We will immediately begin to explore whether we can do so on a basis consistent with our guiding principles.”
Neither the committee nor L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti would comment for this story.
The USOC was also expected to reach out to San Francisco and Washington, the other finalists in a four-city competition last winter. Los Angeles finished second in what was described as a hotly debated vote.
Having already created an extensive proposal, the city could be ready to enter the IOC race in short order. Paris, Rome and Hamburg, Germany, have announced their intentions to bid.
“It’s not like L.A. is starting from scratch,” said Robert Livingstone, who tracks Olympic politics for gamesbids.com. “Clearly there will be a lot of work, but it’s not something that cannot be done.”
Speaking by phone from an IOC meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — where a host for the 2022 Winter Games will be selected later this week — Livingstone said many IOC members had hoped the USOC would switch cities.
Potential candidates have until mid-September to make an official submission. The 2024 host will be selected in 2017.
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