LONDON, May 19, 2017 - The prospect of a historic double award of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games should become clear after a meeting of the executive board of the IOC on June 9.
Only two candidates remain for the 2024 Games – Paris and Los Angeles – and the status and credentials of both led Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, to take action.
Back in March he ordered up a working group of his four vice-presidents to study the rights and wrongs of a double award by the IOC Session in Lima on September 13.
Their remit also covered how such a rule change could be managed in both practical and diplomatic terms within the parameters of the Olympic Charter.
Over the past two weeks an evaluation commission led by IOC member Patrick Baumann has visited the two cities and reported verbally and publicly in glowing terms about the hosting and organisational capacities of both.
Baumann is due to publish his team’s report on July 5 but he acknowledged, in answer to a question from this writer in Paris, that a significant decision would already have been taken by the executive board in early June.
The IOC has now confirmed a board meeting on June 9 in Lausanne to consider two reports from the working group.
One concerns a “reform of the candidature procedure [for] the Olympic Winter Games 2026″ and the other, more intently awaited, concerning “the Olympic Games 2024 and 2028.”
On the understanding that IOC members will still expect to undertake a high-profile role in the decision-making, it is likely that both Los Angeles and Paris will be asked to accept a Session decision on which should go first and to accept the verdict.
Paris is probably slight favourite for 2024 on the basis that its political window of opportunity is more restrictive. Los Angeles has boasted that it has all the venues ready but this could be a weakness: IOC members may assume the city can be ready at any time – short or long term – to play host and that the 2024 option is less pressing.
The one unlikely danger to Bach’s strategy would be if one of the cities insisted it would not be prepared to host the 2028 Games under any circumstances.