Rome Hoping To Host 2024 Olympics, Planning “Innovation and Sustainability”

Roman Colosseum, possible venue for 2024 Olympics
Photo Courtesy: Vassil

With just four days remaining for cities to submit bids to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, Rome got under the wire by informing the International Olympic Committee that they are officially in the running for the prestigious gig of hosting the biggest sporting event.

This would be Rome’s second time as host. In 1960, the Olympics was noted for South Africa’s final appearance under the apartheid regime and the first time the event was televised in North America. In swimming, one of the biggest controversies occurred when Australian John Devitt and American Lance Larson appeared to have tied for gold in the men’s 100 freestyle. But judges ruled that Devitt was officially the winner based on their own decisions and not those of the stopwatches used at the meet. This would pave the way for electronic touchpads to be used in major competitions.

Rome is one of the most iconic cities in the world, and the organizers of the 2024 bid are bound to emphasize that. Such landmarks as the Colosseum could figure greatly in several events, such as the marathon and road cycling races. One thing the organizers suggested was holding most or all of the medal ceremonies inside the Colosseum, according to an article in Yahoo! News.

In terms of swimming, the pool used for the 1960 Games, the Foro Italico, is still in use. It hosted the 1994 and 2009 world championships, which turned out to be two of the most infamous world championships in history. The outdoor pool has a seating capacity of about 10,000, which would need to be expanded if the swimming events are to be held there. The facility has an indoor pool a short walk away for training. Indications are that the bid organizers want to use the Foro Italico for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

One of the requirements of the bid cities is to create venues that would have some use beyond the Games, whether as sporting facilities or for public use. The Rome organizers hope to build an athletes’ village near the University of Rome that would become student housing after the Games.

“No other city in the world can offer an artistic, historical and cultural heritage that stretches over such an ample arc of time, which will allow Olympic competitions to be held in the most spectacular and symbolic places of the Eternal City,” the organizers wrote in the official letter sent to the IOC.

Rome was one of the first cities to publicly announce its intentions to submit a bid to host the 2024 Games. It faces a challenge with two other cities in the running that have also previously hosted the Olympics: Los Angeles and Paris. Hamburg and Budapest are vying for their first time at the gig.