This is a nervous time for officials in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the four U.S. finalists who want to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to make its final pick today.
A final announcement could emerge around 6 p.m. ET. We’ll update this post with any news from the USOC, which is meeting at the Denver International Airport this afternoon.
Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, oddsmakers were calling L.A. and Boston the two favorites. Los Angeles has the advantage of having successfully hosted the Summer Games in 1984 (and previously in 1932), but in Boston, there’s been vocal opposition to hosting the games.
The four contenders are hoping to bring the Olympics back to the U.S. for the first time since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. By the time the Games begin in 2024, that’ll represent a 22-year gap.
As we reported earlier this week, the 2024 Games are seen as being within the reach of a strong American bid — but the winning city will face stiff competition, “including Rome, a yet-to-be-named German city, and possibly Paris or South Africa.”
The winning city will spend the next two years trying to gain support on the International Olympic Committee, which will choose a host city for the 2024 Games in 2017.
As NPR’s Howard Berkes tells us, “If South Africa bids, some in the IOC may be tempted to stage Africa’s first Olympics ever,” as the organization seeks to spread the spirit of the Games.