The president of France spoke of a world needing Olympic values. The mayor of Los Angeles said his home could again be the “ideal Olympic city.” Emmanuel Macron and Eric Garcetti offered a vision on Monday at the Olympic Museum of why Paris and LA should host the Summer Games. Both want it in 2024, one will have to accept 2028.
In separate visits two hours apart, Macron and Garcetti each shared a stage and later a hug with IOC President Thomas Bach.
On Tuesday, Bach’s hope that both candidates will win one of two Olympic hosting rights on offer should be fulfilled.
The full IOC membership will first see both candidate cities present their hosting plans for 2024. Then, the members will likely endorse Bach’s proposal to award two Summer Games at once when they next meet on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.
“This will create a win-win-win situation for LA, Paris and the entire Olympic movement,” the IOC president said, standing beside Garcetti.
There is little doubt both cities can be celebrating by late-afternoon Tuesday.
Still, a deal to decide which will host first, and which must wait four more years should take longer to resolve.
Paris is widely viewed as favorite for 2024, its third Olympic hosting exactly 100 years since the previous edition there.
Macron brought his star quality to the Olympic capital city to open a bid campaign event that typically does not lure heads of state.
Even the rain that began falling as the Paris delegation arrived at the museum allowed Macron to shine.
The charismatic French president held his own umbrella that helped keep his wife, Brigitte, dry on the walk up dozens of steps through landscaped gardens, past Olympic-themed statutes to a photo call at the entrance.
After a one-hour visit, Macron talked of the Olympic Games’ place in a troubled world to “bring friendship between nations.”
“We need the values of peace, liberty and tolerance that the Olympic movement illustrates and embodies strongly,” he said in a four-minute speech.
Macron’s audience included members of the Bach-chaired IOC executive board who could be empowered on Tuesday to broker a future deal on picking the 2024 host.
Earlier, the same audience was invited by Garcetti to “share the soul of LA, to get the taste of the city that has been reborn.”
LA’s previous hosting duties, in 1932 and 1984, were also “games-changers” for the Olympics, Garcetti said.
“At this crazy moment in the world when so much is unsure, let’s bring what we know to be true and good, and that is the Olympic movement,” the mayor said.
On Tuesday, Macron and Garcetti will join city bid officials on stage at a convention center in Lausanne. They must explain their hosting plans in videos and on-stage presentations to up to 95 IOC members. Those members will ultimately vote to confirm the hosts in Lima.
That choice should be simply signing off on the consensus deal that is expected within weeks.