Committee expects to decide between Washington, three other finalists in January.
By James Irwin
The United States Olympic Committee will submit an international bid to host the 2024 summer games, though the name of the U.S. city it will pitch as a possible host will remain unknown at least into early 2015.
Following Tuesday meetings in Redwood City, Calif., which included presentations from Washington, D.C., and three other U.S. cities hoping to host the next Olympics on American soil, the USOC board of directors revealed it will enter a formal bid with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2024 games. The committee said the name of the host city will not be revealed until January at the earliest.
“We’re grateful to the civic and political leaders in each of the four cities for the partnership that’s been demonstrated thus far,” USOC Chairman Larry Probst said. “[We are] confident that the deliberative process we’ve put in place is going to result in a strong U.S. bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”
D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston are under consideration by the USOC as possible sites for an international 2024 Summer Olympics bid. … Formal application papers must be filed with the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 15, 2015
D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston are under consideration by the USOC as possible sites for an international 2024 Summer Olympics bid. The United States has not hosted the summer edition of the Olympics since the 1996 games in Atlanta, an Olympics marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984, the latter of which it was awarded by default as the only international city to submit a bid. Those Olympics were boycotted by 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, in response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow.
“We applaud the decision of the USOC to put forth an American city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A ’81, chair of DC 2024 and former chair of the George Washington University Board of Trustees, said in a statement Tuesday night. “Bringing the Games back to America, after a 28-year absence, will allow our next generation to witness firsthand the power of sport and embrace the values of the Olympic movement.”
Representatives from each city made presentations Tuesday, with Mr. Ramsey, Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser (D), Olympian swimmer Katie Ledecky, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis advocating on behalf of D.C.
“As citizens of Washington, D.C., and the capital region, we would be humbled by the honor of hosting this momentous event, and we believe our city and region would be an ideal host city for the 2024 summer games,” said Mr. Leonsis, DC 2024’s vice chairman.
In an October George Washington Today report, Mr. Ramsey cited strengths for the District, including its mass transportation options, clustered, walkable communities and existing professional athletics facilities. The D.C. region’s colleges and universities, he added, could provide needed residence and training facilities for athletes for months prior to the games.
He envisions a consortium of chancellors and presidents from the District, Maryland and Virginia should D.C. be selected as the U.S. partner city for an IOC bid and pictures a compact, walkable Olympics that uses existing facilities and new construction with long-term benefits, similar to past revitalization efforts where venues such as the Verizon Center and Nationals Park helped transform neighborhoods.
The D.C. region's colleges and universities, Mr. Ramsey said in October, could provide needed residence and training facilities for athletes for months prior to the games.
A November Washington Post report outlined possible details of the proposal regarding facilities and locations, with the site of RFK Stadium considered the preferred location of an Olympic Stadium, and the site of D.C. General homeless shelter serving as the Olympic Village.
Mr. Ramsey, in an October interview with GW Today, had mentioned those sites as possible centerpiece locations for the games.
“When we look at the [Capitol] Hill East site, which is under a plan to be a multi-family redevelopment, could that be an Olympic village next to the RFK site? And could that RFK site be for an opening or closing ceremonies, or the site of a future NFL stadium? There are all kinds of possibilities,” he said.
Formal application papers must be filed with the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 15, 2015. The United States is the second country in as many days to announce it will seek to host the 2024 Olympics. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced Monday that Rome will enter a formal bid. The Italian capital city hosted the summer games in 1960.
The IOC will name the host city for the 2024 Olympics in September 2017, at its annual meeting in Lima, Peru.