(Reuters) – LA 2024 officials were “disappointed” to learn this week that Budapest will pull out of the running for the 2024 summer Games and said on Friday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must select a host city that redefines sustainability.
Hungary’s government said this week it would withdraw Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, citing a lack of political and national unity behind the application that it blamed on the opposition.
“All of us at LA 2024 are disappointed in this news,” LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said in a statement.
“We have the highest respect for Budapest 2024’s pioneering approach to designing and promoting their bid, and we look forward to continued friendship with our Hungarian colleagues.”
Budapest, which was up against powerhouses Los Angeles and Paris, was considered a long-shot candidate and its prospects dimmed further after a political group claimed to have more than enough public support to force a referendum on the issue.
The Hungarian government’s decision marked the latest blow to the Olympic bid process with Boston, Hamburg and Rome having previously pulled out of a race that has now been left with just two cities.
Bidding for the 2024 summer Games has entered its final stage, with the International Olympic Committee scheduled to choose between Los Angeles and Paris in September.
According to Wasserman, the Los Angeles bid has 88 percent public support and offers an innovative, low-risk and truly sustainable solution to help secure the future of the Olympic Movement in 2024 and beyond.
“The world is entering an era of unprecedented change. This is the ‘new reality’ for the Olympic Movement and it calls for new thinking,” said Wasserman.
“We believe that now, more than ever, the IOC must focus on selecting a 2024 host city that redefines sustainability, connects the Olympic Movement and its benefits to the world’s youth like never before and encourages future cities to bid for their Games.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both)