Well, Rome’s out.
Perhaps for decades.
As was thought, CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee) got out of the bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The bid didn’t have the support of the city’s mayor Virginia Raggi, who is more interested in fixing some legit problems like trash collection and corruption. The lack of support means that CONI president Giovanni Malago had to tell the IOC, Look, we’re going to “interrupt the candidacy.”
What does that mean? Well, it means that Rome got its stage 2 information in before the deadline, and they had to ‘fess up and say, Yeah, we don’t have a ton of local support, you know, right now, with this mayor and everything–but then the language Malago used somehow seemed to convey, But if you think we should keep going, IOC, (wink, wink) just let us know.
And then Malago dissolved the bid committee.
What? How can you keep a bid going when you’ve dissolved the committee?
Does he really think that they could get the bid back together if the IOC wants them to keep moving forward?
Maybe it’s poor translation. Maybe Malago might be trying to save some face here and spoke über-diplomatically. Rome dropped out of the 2020 race too, and perhaps that makes them look a little bad, getting the IOC’s hopes up for a nice competition (not to mention the $150,000 stage 3 fee they’re going to lose). Maybe he was just sad about the failure and tried to phrase it in the best light possible, since hope never dies.
At any rate, we’ll know for sure in December when the IOC announces who’s moving forward in the bid process.
This Friday is an important milestone in the timeline of the 2024 Summer Olympics: It’s the day the bid cities submit their second round of bidding info to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
According to Around the Rings, in this round, bid cities will let the IOC know just how the city plans to pay for the Games, as well as a bunch of legal and governance issue. Finally, they’ll let the IOC know what the people and businesses think of hosting the Games.
This last item is kind of a big deal–if the people and businesses don’t support the Games, the host committee is going to have an uphill battle. It’s been a straw that’s broken the camel’s back for some cities (see: Boston), and is currently an issue in Rome, where the City Council recently voted to withdraw its support for the Games.
This would shrink the number of bid cities from four to three–Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are still in the running–but New Europe reports that Rome may continue its bid anyway.
This doesn’t mean that Rome’s a lock as a bid city–the IOC’s going to look at these bid updates and decide whether or not each city will be allowed to move on to the third round of the bid. Question is, does the IOC want to deal with cities where the bid is diametrically opposed? Or are they so worried about candidate cities dropping like flies (Hamburg’s the latest) that they want more cities to be a part of the bid process so that they don’t get caught in another situation where one city is the only bidder (Los Angeles 1984), which causes them to lose the upper hand?
Does someone’s Feverr come at a price?
The IOC supposedly cleaned up its act after the scandal surrounding the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, which prompted the organization to expel six members for corruption, as they were outed for their fine tastes that came at the expense of the SLC bid organizers.
If the IOC thought that expulsion solved the problem, it may need to think again, as The Guardian reports that during the 2020 Olympics bid process, the Tokyo bid team apparently made a seven-figure deposit into an account tied to the son of former IAAF (world athletics governing body) chief Lamine Diack, who was an IOC member from 1999-2013. In 2014 Diack became an honorary IOC member and stepped down from that post last November after French authorities arrested him for corruption and money laundering, alleging that he accepted bribes for covering up results of Russian drug tests.
The French authorities are now looking into the bids for the 2016 and 2020 Games for further signs of corruption. Meanwhile, the IOC might have to wipe some egg off its face and have a stern talking-to with its membership, as it thought it had cleaned everything up after the SLC scandal. After this investigation, it may not look any better than FIFA or the IAAF.