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USOC looking at Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington for 2024 Olympic bid

The Associated Press
Published Saturday, August 1, 2015 8:49AM EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- U.S. Olympic leaders have started contacting Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington about the possibility of bidding for the 2024 Games and believe the demise of Boston's candidacy will be "ancient history" by the time the host city is selected in 2017.

In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst said a decision will be made by the end of August on which of three cities should replace Boston as the American contender in a race that already features four European cities.

"We've got to reconnect with the three cities that were part of the group of finalists," Probst said on the sidelines of the IOC general assembly in Kuala Lumpur. "We've got to determine what their level of interest is in pursuing a bid and take that feedback and gather our board together and discuss that feedback with our board and make a decision."

"That will all happen in the month of August," he added. "We will have resolved this by the end of the month."

Probst gave his most extensive public comments since the USOC cut ties with Boston on Monday, pulling the plug on a bid plagued by a lack of public support.

The USOC now faces a Sept. 15 IOC deadline to enter a bid that would replace Boston, which had been chosen ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

Los Angeles, which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, is widely viewed as the likely choice.

"We'll talk to them just like we'll talk to San Francisco and Washington," Probst said.

Probst said the USOC has begun the process of sounding out the three cities about stepping in, but declined to say what kind of response the committee has received so far.

"We're going to share that feedback with our board first," he said.

The feedback from International Olympic members, meanwhile, has been loud and clear: "Surprisingly strong encouragement to bid," Probst said.

Many IOC members have told the AP they would welcome a Los Angeles bid.

"They've heard the speculation, they've read the speculation and of course they assume it's going to happen," Probst said. "They want to see a bid from the United States. We would love to host the games in 2024 and hope to have a strong bid."

Probst said numerous IOC members have spoken to him here about Boston's withdrawal.

"Everybody thinks it's unfortunate," he said. "When we chose Boston, we thought that it was going to be a strong bid. ... But at the end of the day we couldn't get the support of the local community. If you can't get the public to support a bid, you're not going to win. So we had to do what we thought was in the best interests of the USOC."

Probst poured cold water on the possibility of a joint bid between Los Angeles and San Francisco, though he didn't rule it out completely.

"I think that would be complicated -- not impossible, but complicated," he said.

Paris and Rome are among the declared candidates for 2024, along with Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary. Toronto and Baku, Azerbaijan, are also weighing possible bids. The IOC will select the host city at its session Lima, Peru, in 2017.

The U.S. hasn't hosted a Summer Games since Atlanta staged the 1996 Olympics. New York and Chicago failed in bids for the 2012 and 2016 Games, respectively.

Asked whether the Boston debacle had damaged U.S. chances for 2024, Probst said: "I don't think so. I think that episode will be ancient history by the time that we get to Lima in 2017."

IOC President Thomas Bach this week accused Boston of failing to deliver on its "promises" to the USOC. Mayor Marty Walsh fired back that he wouldn't be "forced into spending taxpayers' money at risk."

"I have a lot of respect for Mayor Walsh," Probst said. "I think he's a terrific guy. We had a good working relationship with him. We're going to take the high road and not get involved in any kind of finger pointing or accusatory remarks. I'm a big fan of Mayor Walsh. I'm clearly a big fan of Thomas Bach."

Bach raised eyebrows this week when he declared that the IOC had a "commitment" from the USOC to submit a 2024 bid.

"I was a little surprised at the remark that he made," Probst said, "but, yes, we would like to bid for 2024. We have said consistently that is our desire to have a bid for the Summer Games in 2024. That's the commitment that we've made."
Beijing's climate is fairly similar to Toronto, but a few degrees warmer and with even wilder temperature swings. In January the average high is 2 and average low is -8. It snows there. Of course, the criticism of relying on man made snow for the alpine events is valid. But that was a problem in Vancouver too.

During the Vancouver Olympics, it was the warmest January. They had to truck in snow to Whistler.
IOC just announced new bid rules - every applicant city makes it to the final vote. No more technical knockout stage. Looks like they are getting desperate.
During the Vancouver Olympics, it was the warmest January. They had to truck in snow to Whistler.

They had to truck in snow to Grouse, but Whistler? I don't remember that. That would have been very, very difficult for something like the men's downhill course.

Calgary had a 20 celcius day during that Games, as they had moved it into the February sweeps for ABC and had the usual Chinook. We watched the two-man bobsled in shorts and sweatshirts.
Cost of bidding has also been reduced.
Yes not so sure what goes on within the IOC, but the timing may be right for a Toronto bid. Allowing the use of mainly existing facilities is a game changer. They may vote for Toronto as the safe option for the IOC and it is no coincidence that there were many IOC members here for the pan am games.
Look at that, LA looking to host for the third time. Must be gluttons for punishment... and all those other backwaters seeking/sought to host: Chicago, San Fran, NYC, Paris, Rome... Thankfully we have visionaries like TOperson here, to protect us from ourselves!
Look at the list Salsa posted right after your comment. Toronto got most of what was tied to our 2008 bid, so it's hardly a "fantasy" as you say. Out of 10 projects, 6 were completed regardless. Of the remaining 4 projects, only 2 are really missing. The temporary Cherry Station definitionally wouldn't have been long term infrastructure, and the Front Street West extension was cancelled because City Council decided it wasn't appropriate. So, ya know, maybe you want to revise just how much that assumption is "strictly within the realm of fantasy."

What's more if you consider those last 2 no one really wants, Toronto got the entire list!

You're being extremely disingenuous because 5 out of 10 is not most in any realm of reality. Dial the disingenuousness level up to 11 because of the 5 that remain in the realm of fantasy, they are also the ones that cost the most money, and they have no funding. Quelle surprise.
Rogers Centre is too small for either the events, or the ceremonies. Plus, by 2018, the plan is to have a real grass field, and with the Argonauts moving out, seats will likely be taken out and the the stadium will be reconfigured.