LIMA, September 13, 2017 – Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti has praised the “radical revolution” of the IOC in awarding the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to Paris and LA in a single, no-losers swoop.
Garcetti however had harsh words for previous host city leaders whose Games and overblown budgets have damaged the image of the International Olympic Committee.
“Don’t pretend to do things that have nothing to do with the Olympics and put them on the Olympics budget,” Garcetti said when asked on his message to any cities wishing to bid for Games in the future.
“There is no Olympics since after the Games in Sydney 2000 that have lost money on operations, it’s all infrastructure, and that’s where overly-ambitious cities and mayors have been as responsible for making the Games have a sometimes tougher image.
“Sometimes we get ambitious as cities, and that’s great, cities need to have better airports and improved transportation, but it is including that in the Olympic budget that maybe unfair to the Olympics. The Olympics is the actual Games,” Garcetti concluded in sharp criticism for what seems primarily aimed at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, whose joint infrastructural and sports-related budget was recorded at over $51 billion, the vast investment in which was largely seen as a vanity project of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It was the Games in Sochi that were seen as the prime catalyst for the need of an urgent image change within the IOC and a clearer explanation on the prices of hosting an Olympic Games. Since Sochi, the Rio 2016 Olympics which included a number of infrastructural investments incurred a $1.6 billion cost overrun, while the major worry ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games is a budget which is already six times that of what was projected when the city was elected in 2013.
The consequences of this was an overwhelming hesitance for local governments and citizens to back bids over fears of astronomical budgets. It was also what spurred the IOC and Bach to want to lock down two solid candidates and tried and tested Olympic cities like Paris in Los Angeles in a joint allocation for the next two editions of the Summer Games.
“This way is unusual, we invented this way, and we are here as three winners together with Los Angeles and the IOC,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said of the double allocation that IOC President Bach had dubbed as a golden opportunity to ensure stability and a ‘win-win-win’ for all sides.
Mayor Garcetti called the move a radical revolution.
“This is history. Usually you have two or three cities crying in a corner and one glorious victor. We have had enough divisions and enough of those going after dreams only to have them crushed.
“Now we have both our dreams coming true,” the LA Mayor added.