September 8, 2016 / 5:22 PM / 3 years ago

Italy's Olympians seek support from Rome mayor over 2024 Games bid

Rome's newly elected mayor Virginia Raggi, of 5-Star Movement, speaks with journalists as she arrives at the Rome's city hall, Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), downtown Rome, Italy, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

(Reuters) - Italy’s Olympic medalists have written a letter to Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi, seeking support for the city’s bid to host the 2024 summer Games.

Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which runs the Rome municipality, has made clear she has other priorities but has yet to definitively back away from the bid.

“Dear mayor, we have just concluded a fantastic edition of the Olympic Games in Rio,” the medalists said in the letter, which has been seen by Reuters.

“We proved our worth, we suffered and rejoiced, won and sometimes lost, but surely we have given Italy the strong emotions that only the Olympics can offer.

“Those of us who have had the chance to... win a medal and bring the name of Italy on the podium are convinced that bringing the Games back to our country and our capital would give the new generations the necessary optimism to believe in a better future.”

The signatories include three-times Olympic champion Niccolo Campriani, three-times silver medalist Giovanni Pellielo and members of Italy’s volleyball and water polo teams among others.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago has said that Rome’s bid will fail automatically without the backing of the city council. He is due to meet Raggi to seek her support.

Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are also in the running to host the 2024 Games, and the International Olympic Committee is due to select the host city in September 2017.

Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru and Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia; Editing by Toby Davis

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