Paris to bid for 2024 Summer Games: city official

Thu Apr 9, 2015 5:17am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris is set to go ahead with a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, the French capital's deputy mayor in charge of sports told Reuters.

The Paris City Council will vote on Monday to decide whether to make a bid for the 2024 Games -- 100 years after Paris last staged the Summer Olympics.

"A good job was made by the sporting world in explaining why and how (to bid)... so we are going toward this vote with optimism," Jean-Francois Martins told Reuters in his Paris City Hall office.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo had suggested last year that she was not in favor of a bid because of "financial and budgetary" issues but she has since then changed her mind.

"The mayor is convinced. We had budgetary, ethical, ecologic demands," Martins said. "But it shows we are not ecstatic. We are ambitious, passionate, but reasonable."

Paris would be up against the German city of Hamburg, Rome and Boston, who appear to be the favorites as the United States have not hosted the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.

Paris, however, would only bid for 2024, not 2024 and 2028 should it fail for the former.

"Clearly it would be for 2024 only," said Martins, who believes the French capital is tailor-made for the Games -- which under new International Olympic Committee's rules need to be more reasonable.   Continued...

A view shows the illuminated Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district (background) in Paris February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes