Nairobi Planning to Bid for 2024 Olympics; Chesapeake Bay Mulling Run
Everyone is already asking where the 2024 Olympics will be held.
Kenya's capital Nairobi is planning to bid for the Olympics in 2024 and become the first African city to host the Games, the prime minister said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
"Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaking at the Kenya National House today, announced that the Republic of Kenya will be starting the process of pitching to host the Games of the 33rd Olympiad in 2024," a Kenya House announcement said.
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"If successful, these Games will be the first ever held in Africa."
Kenya appealed to investors on Thursday to fund improvements to facilities that have helped to nurture some of the world's greatest distance runners, according to Reuters.
Top class runners from around the world, include British Olympic 10,000 metres champion Mo Farah, flock to Kenya's Rift Valley for the high altitude training that allows them to compete with East Africa's own athletes.
The town of Iten in the Rift Valley had become like "a magic place" for athletes seeking the winning formula, said Isiah Kiplagat, chairman of Kenya's athletics federation.
However, he said the town struggled to accommodate all the athletes who wanted to train there, with some having to board in local houses because of a shortage of hotel rooms.
"The facilities are not conducive, they are not good enough," said Kiplagat, calling for foreign investment.
"It's really a golden opportunity. The opportunities are there for you to invest in high-altitude training centres," he said in a presentation at the Kenya team headquarters close to the 2012 Olympic Park in east London.
The International Olympic Committee will elect the 2024 host city in 2017, with official campaigning to start two years earlier.
The Baltimore Sun via Fox 43 reported that the Chesapeake Bay area that unsuccessfully bid for the 2012 Summer Games are interested in making a run for the 2024 Games as well.
"There have been some informal discussions with people. The energy the Olympics create, the optimism it creates, I feel that again. I'm optimistic," said Dan Knise, president and CEO of the Wastington-Baltimore 2012 Regional Coalition, who was in London with his family to watch the Games but also hoped to "take the temperature" of Olympic decision-makers.
"I think it's worth exploring," said M.J. "Jay" Brodie, who retired Friday as president of Baltimore Development Corp. and was involved in the 2012 bid. "It isn't inexpensive. It requires certain dollars and people's time. It can't just be done with government. There has to be major public and private contributions to make it happen."
John Moag Jr., former chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said all the things that made the region attractive in 2012 remain, including having "the largest sports infrastructure in a 40-mile radius."
The 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro - the first in South America - while Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul are bidding for the 2020 Games, with a decision to be taken next year.