U.S. Olympic bid picking up momentum and support

Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:59pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) gave the clearest indication yet that it will make a pitch for the 2024 Summer Games, saying on Friday that next year it hoped to be in the final stages of preparing a bid.

After stunning rebukes to New York to host the 2012 Olympics and Chicago's failed attempt for the 2016 Games the USOC has taken a cautious and methodical approach in its latest effort to land the sporting world's biggest prize.

But prudence has slowly given way to confidence and the overwhelming buzz around the USOC's annual general assembly that wrapped up Friday was that America's time to stage a Games again has come.

"A year from now, hopefully we'll be in the final stages of preparing a bid for the 2024 Games," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun told a receptive audience of sporting delegates. "We're excited because the last time we hosted a Summer Games was 1996 which means there is a whole generation of Americans who haven't been able to see the (Summer) Olympic Games on American soil and that is very, very important for us."

The idea of hosting the 2024 Games had near unanimous support from the country's sports federations, Blackmun noted.

But the United States can expect stiff competition if it does bid with Paris and Doha among those that could enter the race.

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