Games officials meet for 2022 vote as Boston withdraws

Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:24am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee started a week-long session in Malaysia on Tuesday, where the selection of a host for the 2022 Winter Olympics and checks on new reforms took an early backseat to Boston's withdrawal from the 2024 race.

Only China's Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty remain in the running for the 2022 event after four bidders withdrew from the race with the Games, especially the winter edition, struggling to attract interest from prospective hosts.

"The key issue is to deliver a great Games for athletes, and that means having (a bid) which offers great conditions in the sport facilities but also to have a project which addresses the issues of Olympic Agenda 2020," IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

"That means to have sustainable and feasible Olympic Games," he said of the 2022 bidders.

However, Boston's high-profile withdrawal just hours before the start of the IOC Executive Board meeting on Tuesday serves as a timely reminder of the work ahead for the Olympic movement as it seeks to rejuvenate the bidding process.

The United States Olympic Committee withdrew the bid after the mayor of Boston said his city's taxpayers could not afford to host the large-scale event.

So far, Paris, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest have bid for the 2024 Summer Games with the IOC deadline for applicant cities falling on Sept. 15

Apart from the 2022 Games vote on July 31, IOC officials will also be reviewing a string of reforms voted in late last year as part of its 'Agenda 2020' initiative.   Continued...

President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach (C) prepares to host an executive board meeting ahead of Friday's vote for the host cities of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris