Italy hints at bid to host 2024 Olympics

As Tokyo began celebrating its victorious 2020 Olympic bid, Italy's prime minister Enrico Letta lost no time in voicing Italy's interest in hosting the games in 2024.

Italy hints at bid to host 2024 Olympics
The President of the CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) Italy's Giovanni Malago. Photo: Pierre Teyssot/AFP

Italy may place a bid for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games, Italian prime minister Enrico Letta said on Sunday. 

The news of a possible Italian Olympic bid comes the day after Tokyo was chosen as host for the 2020 Olympics, ousting Madrid and Istanbul in the final vote which was cast in Buenos Aires. 

“What happened yesterday in Buenos Aires makes me think that Italy could make a bid for the Olympics in 2024,” Letta was quoted by Corriere della Sera as saying on Sunday during a visit to the northern Italian region of Lombardy.

His comments also got the thumbs-up from Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino.

“There are conditions for putting Rome forward to host the games as the city possesses all the necessary requisites,” Marino said. “Soon I will ask for a meeting with prime minister Letta and with the President of the Olympic Committee Giovanni Malagò, who I already called in Buenos Aires.”

Milan was also quick to express an interest in hosting the games.

“The Olympics could be an extraordinary occasion for Milan if it decides to place a bid,” Roberto Maroni, President of the Lombardy region told Corriere della sera. “I will talk about it with the Mayor [Giuliano] Pisapia in the next few days.”

So far, Italy has hosted three Olympic games, including one summer Olympics in 1960 and two Winter Olympics in 2006 and 1956.

In previous years, Italy has emerged triumphant in many Olympic sports, notably fencing, cycling, athletics and boxing.

The city of Rome and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) originally placed a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics but it was eventually withdrawn due to lack of support from the government. 

The committee was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Local on Monday but released a statement on Saturday. 

"The best plan won, the best dossier, the most credible candidacy from the point of view of sustainability, economic reliability and technical compactness," Giovanni Malagò, the President of the Committee said in the statement.

"At this point, independently from what will happen for the 2022 Winter Games for which there are not yet any official candidacies, I believe that Europe could come back as a protagonist in 2024 given that in 2016 it will be in America and in Asia in 2020," he added.

"Rome? Any discussion is entirely premature. We will talk about it when we return to Italy, obviously starting with the government and [Rome's] mayor Marino."    

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