Five finalists to host the 2024 Summer Olympics were announced Wednesday, with American bid Los Angeles standing out as one of the top candidates.
According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Paris, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg will join L.A. for the right to stage the biggest spectacle in international sports.
Neither Budapest nor Hamburg have ever hosted the Olympic Games, while Los Angeles hosted in both 1932 and 1984, Paris hosted in 1900 and 1924, and Rome hosted in 1960.
Per the AP report, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach believes all of the finalists boast qualities that make them potential winners: "We are welcoming five outstanding and highly qualified candidate cities."
The Olympics have not been held in the United States since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and the USA has not hosted the Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta.
Los Angeles is looking to end that drought, although it is the third American choice as both Boston and Washington bowed out previously. Another potential North American bid, Toronto, also decided against formally joining the fray just prior to the deadline.
According to CBC, Toronto mayor John Tory didn't believe the city could get ready in time, but he didn't rule out a future bid:
I believe that one day Toronto will be a great venue for the Olympic Games, but not in 2024. Time was against us in building the kind of support you have to have from the community in order for this to work. I am not saying no to the Olympics. I am saying not this time.
The five finalists will now have two years to put together their plans, as the 2024 Olympic host will be determined at a conference in September 2017.
With the 2016 Summer Games set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, they will all have an opportunity to see what does and doesn't work from an infrastructure and transportation perspective before they finalize their bids.
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