Budapest pulls out of running to host 2024 Summer Olympics

23 February, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • IOC President Thomas Bach speaks at press briefing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Hungary pulled the bid, leaving L.A. and Paris as the final two cities contending to host the Games.

The decision was announced after a meeting between the Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos and the President of the National Olympic Committee Zsolt Borkai on Wednesday evening.

The chairman of Budapest's bid, Balazs Furjes, pushed for a quick decision.

"The government, the leadership of the capital, the presidency of Fidesz and the Fidesz parliamentary group proposes the withdrawal of the candidacy to both the Hungarian Olympic Committee and to the City Hall", Lajos Kosa, leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group told MTI.

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Bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics came down to just two finalists in 2015, Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, after Oslo dropped out months before the Games were eventually awarded to the Chinese city. Such a decision would reward two strong bids and also buy the International Olympic Committee some time to re-think its bidding process before again asking cities to throw their hats in the ring. "There is no point dragging out this process like strudel dough". In Budapest, 56 percent of voters were against the bid.

The United States' Olympic Committee and the Olympic organizers in Los Angeles were not immediately available to comment on the Hungarian decision.

The initiative, championed by the sports-mad Orban, was dealt a possibly fatal blow last week after a petition garnered enough signatures to force a referendum on the bid.

They were aided by several political parties critical of right-wing strongman Orban.

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