After three failed attempts and 12 years after the demoralizing and disheartening loss to the London bid in 2005, Paris has finally been awarded the Olympic Games it has craved.
On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that the French capital would host the 2024 Olympics, while Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 Games.
Both campaign teams summarized their bids in presentations at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, before the IOC voted to formally confirm the announcements.
As part of the Paris presentation Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the IOC members via video link.
“This is a win-win-win situation for Paris, Los Angeles and the entire Olympic Movement,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
With the two teams — the final contestants of an initial six-strong field — having already agreed to split the 2024 and 2028 Games, there was none of the usual pre-announcement nerves and tension.
In unusual circumstances, the IOC announced two host cities at the same event, with Bach calling it a “golden opportunity” to award two Games simultaneously.
It sees the Games return to the US for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and marks the third occasion in which Los Angeles has hosted (1932, 1984).
For Paris, however, the wait has been considerably longer. The city last held the Olympics in 1924, meaning 2024 will mark the 100-year anniversary of its previous hosting.
It also means Paris will become the second city to hold three separate Summer Games, after London and before Los Angeles.
Cost of staging Games
Paris and Los Angeles were the only competitors left for 2024 after rival cities pulled their bids because of worries over cost.
Hosting a modern Olympics practically guarantees massive debt and cost overruns. Researchers at Oxford’s Saïd Business School estimate the cost overrun for the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, was $1.6 billion.
Officials from Paris and Los Angeles had stressed that their cities already have more than 90% of the facilities they need to host, reducing the additional cost.
The Los Angeles planning committee estimates that the games will cost $5.3 billion.
Wednesday’s confirmation came against the backdrop of a possible international corruption scheme surrounding Brazil’s 2016 Olympic bid.
Earlier this month about 70 Federal Brazilian Police conducted raids in Rio de Janeiro as part of “Operation Unfair Play,” which is being conducted in conjunction with French and US police.
They are looking into allegations of purchasing of votes by members of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) to ensure Rio would be picked as a host city by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).