2024 Summer Olympics: Would Washington, D.C. serve as a possible host?
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- (Photo: Andrew Medichini/Associated Press | Date: Jul. 28, 2012)
Before 2024 even comes, the Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia (2014), Rio de Janeiro (2016) and Pyeongchang, South Korea (2018). The games of the XXXIII Olympiad - better known as the 2024 Summer Olympics - will not even be awarded until 2017.
According to DCist, though, the fact that 2024 is more than a decade off isn't stopping the United States Olympic Committee from putting the feelers out to cities that might be interested in bidding on the games.
In a letter sent to the mayors of nearly three dozen cities nationwide, DCist says that Washington, D.C. is among the cities being courted by the USOC to consider organizing a bid for the summer games. The United States hasn't hosted an Olympics since 2002, when the Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City.
The Summer Olympics, specifically, haven't been played on U.S. soil since Atlanta played host in 1996. The only other two Summer Games that were held here were in 1932 and 1984, both of which played out in Los Angeles. Lake Placid (1932 and 1980) and Squaw Valley, Calif. (1960) were American Winter Olympic hosts.
"Now more than ever, we need to use the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage our youth to be active and engaged in sport," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun wrote in a letter obtained by the Associated Press.
Chicago was one of the finalists to host the 2016 Summer Games, but the Windy City's bid stumbled badly and didn't make it out of the first round of voting. Los Angeles, Dallas and Tulsa, Okla., are among the cities that have expressed interest in hosting the 2024 Games so far.
New York, Chicago and San Francisco have either bid or expressed interest in bidding in the past and could also get in the mix.
As DCist points out, Washington would have to add significant facilities to host a summer games, including a new stadium and a large housing complex to serve as an Olympic Village. According to the letter, any Olympic host city would be required to build a village to house 16,500 athletes and officials along with 45,000 hotel rooms.
Washington's official tourist bureau, Destination D.C., says the city currently has 28,771 rooms within the District of Columbia itself. The region as a whole has more than 106,000 rooms, though, when you include hotels in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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