With the International Olympic Committee due to convene in Lausanne, Switzerland tomorrow to discuss the location of the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games, it increasingly looks as though Paris will be the host city seven years from now. Today, executives from Discovery Communications and Eurosport, which have all TV and multi-platform rights in Europe for the winter and summer games from 2018–2024, met with members of the Paris 2024 Olympic Bid Committee in a show of support for an Olympic Games to be held in Europe in 2024.
Los Angeles has also been vying to host the 2024 games, but on Wednesday LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman appeared to say that the city would be open to waiting until 2028. In a statement, he said, “To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024. Even when the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn’t say it’s ‘LA first’ or it’s ‘now or never’ for LA: that sounds like an ultimatum.”
Per Reuters, Wasserman maintained that LA’s primary focus is not on itself but rather on the Olympic movement and the world. “That may be a surprising statement for an American bid, but it shouldn’t be because America’s support for the Games has never wavered — ever,” he said.
If Paris is awarded the games of the XXXIII Olympiad it will mark 100 years since the French capital last hosted.
Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav said today, “When Discovery Communications secured the rights across Europe for the Olympic Games from 2018-2024, we did so with tremendous passion, commitment and ambition, irrespective of the location of the Games. A truly global company run by local market experts and teams, Discovery has significant operations in Paris and Los Angeles and we consider both to be world-class cities. That said, as Home of the Olympic Games in Europe through 2024, we are excited to show our support for the Paris bid and their quest to bring the 2024 Olympic Games back to Europe.”
Paris 2024 Co-Chair Bernard Lapasset added, “The support of our bid by Discovery and Eurosport, demonstrates once again the strong unity and firm commitment across Europe to seeing the Olympic and Paralympic Games return to Paris for a centenary celebration in 2024. Paris 2024 will be a Games to welcome people from across the continent and around the world to share in our spectacular showcasing of sport and Olympism at the heart of our iconic city.”
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton also chimed in. “Living in Paris, I’m very proud of the city’s passion for sport and its ability to deliver high quality events. We share the huge excitement of the local community, for the chance to represent not just the city, or country, but the whole of Europe. Paris 2024 would give everyone a chance, young and old, across Europe to experience premium and exclusive coverage of an Olympic Games close to home. This is a prospect that we find incredibly exciting.”
The IOC is expected to confirm the 2024 and 2028 host cities in September.