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Rome to lead Italy bid for 2024 Olympics

16 December 2014

2024: Rome will spearhead an Italian bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday vowing a strong campaign to win the event.

Italy became the first country to announce a bid taking advantage of new International Olympic Committee rules allowing events to be staged in more than one city.

Speaking at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) during an end-of-year medals ceremony, Renzi said: "We are standing side by side with CONI because in September 2015 we will officially present our candidature to host the 2024 Olympic Games."

The prime minister said Rome would be the centrepiece of the Games bid but that "all the cities, from Florence and Naples to Sardinia" could be involved.

"We don't intend to simply participate in the bidding process, this is a challenge we would like to win. We will do everything we can until 2017 when the final decision is made," added Renzi.

The Italian capital, which last held the summer Games in 1960, shelved plans to bid for the 2020 event two years ago due to concerns over rising costs as the country battled an economic crisis. Turin held the Winter Olympics in 2006.

But with new rules passed by the IOC last week allowing countries to stage competitions across several cities, potential bidders are now able to spread the costs.

Renzi said he would put together an "organisational structure" that would be "committed to making sure Italy wins this match".

Rome is the first city to officially announce it will bid for the 2024 Games, but the Eternal City can expect a tough competition.

The US Olympic Committee is to decide this week between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston or Washington for a probable American bid.

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DSOB) this month voted unanimously to bid to host the 2024 or 2028 Summer Games, with Berlin or Hamburg as the host city.

Paris is to decide in January whether to stage a bid and the Azerbaijan capital, Baku, and Doha - both beaten by Tokyo in the bid to host the 2020 Games - are potential candidates.

South Africa could be represented by bids from Durban or a joint Johannesburg-Pretoria bid.

Cities must make applications by September 15 next year. The IOC will choose a final list of candidate cities in May 2016 and make a final decision at a congress in Lima in mid 2017.


Olympic archery at the Vatican? Why not?

A top cardinal has suggested the Vatican could host Olympic archery if Italy wins its newly-unveiled bid to host the 2024 Games.

"That seems to me to be an excellent idea," Portuguese cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins was quoted as telling the Quotidiano Nazionale daily's Monday edition.

"It has never been done but the Church has always encouraged sport as a vehicle for healthy values."

Archery, he said could be held in the Vatican's gardens or in the little-used expanses at the Pope's summer residence at Castelgandolfo, to the south east of Rome.

The cardinal's eye-catching suggestion came as Italy officially announced a Rome-led bid for the Games, which the capital previously hosted in 1960.

The Olympic stadium and swimming complex built for the 1960 games are expected to be upgraded to host athletics and the aquatic events if Italy succeeds in its bid.
Other events are to be spread around the country with the sailing notably expected to be off Sardinia, the island that is a firm favourite with millionaire yacht owners.


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