Rome Still in the Race to Bid for 2024 Olympics: Italian National Olympic Committee

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Italian National Olympic Committee(CONI)  chief has reacted angrily to the recent statements of the mayor of Rome, who suggested that it would be irresponsible to be a candidate for hosting the Olympics in 2024.

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The Italy Olympic chief asserted that Rome is in contention and will bid to host the 2024 Olympics. Rome had hosted the Olympic Games in 1960 and had pulled out of the bidding for 2020 Olympics for financial reasons. Giovanni Malago, who heads the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), termed the recent decision of the Mayor of Rome as “demagogic and populist.”

The Mayor of Rome has expressed opposition to the proposal to bid because she feels that it would leave the Italian capital indebted. It must be noted that Boston and Hamburg have already backed out from the race to host the 2024 Olympics. Hamburg’s decision was based on a referendum. Other contenders who are bidding to host the 2024 Olympics include Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest.

In an interview published in bbc.com, Giovanni Malago justifying his recent decision said that “Hearing ‘no’ hurts. I’m very sorry. It was possible to do this and do it well. We will continue [with the bid]until I hear a formal no. Is there an alternative project for the city that will create new jobs? Is there an alternative that will give answers to the young citizens aged 18 to 25? For the first time, not even one of the environmental organisations opposed the project. Even the trade unions backed it.”

Malagò became a member of the Executive of the Italian National Olympic Committee In 2000.He has the previous experience of  dealing with many international sporting events organized in Italy such as the European Volleyball Championship in 2005 and the World Swimming Championships in 2009. He was elected the president of CONI on 19 February 2013.

Virginia Raggi’s decision of saying no to the 2024 Olympics can be attributed the fact that the idea of hosting an Olympic Games has not evoked much enthusiasm among the Romans recently. Since Raggi came to power she has been riddled with a lot of problems. So, by rejecting the Olympics, she feels that she can win back popularity and also can assert her authority over this historic city. It would also be significant to note that Raggi came to power after she repeatedly said that she would oppose the 2024 bid to host the Olympic Games.

In an official statement released by The Roman 2024 committee, they said they were “profoundly surprised and disappointed”. The International Olympic Committee will elect the host nation through voting for the 2024 games in Lima (Peru) in September 2017.

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