For Olympic leaders, the U.S. is back in the game

Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:58am EDT
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By Simon Evans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States appears to be back at the heart of the Olympic movement after IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday years of wrangling over revenue sharing and failed U.S. attempts to host the Games were "history".

The Association of National Olympic Committees' (ANOC) general assembly is being held in the U.S. capital this week, the first time in 21 years the body has gathered in the country.

“We announced in 2010 that we wanted to be more active and engaged participant in the Olympic movement and this (event) is a continuation of that desire,” United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Executive Scott Blackmun told Reuters at a gala awards dinner on Thursday.

“It is something we have realized we have to do if we want to be one of the people at the table as this movement decides how it is going to move forward."

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Bach praised the United States for hosting the event and said problems relating to the country's position in the business and politics of the Olympics were in the past.

“I think this is history, let’s look into the future,” he said.

After the disappointment of Boston withdrawing its bid for the 2024 Olympics, Los Angeles picked up the baton in an attempt to bring the Summer Games back to the country for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been busy in Washington drumming up support for the bid, has been encouraged by the response.   Continued...

Oct 29, 2015; Washington, USA; Francesco Ricci Bitti of Italy (R) shakes hands with Dr. Thomas Bach of Germany (L), president of the International Olympic Committee, after receiving the ANOC Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement during the 2015 ANOC Awards at DAR Constitution Hall. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports