Olympics: Budapest to drop bid to host Games

Budapest is set to withdraw its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving only Paris and Los Angeles in the race.

Hungary's governing party Fidesz said Wednesday the decision to drop the bid came to avoid "a loss of worldwide prestige" for the country, according to The Associated Press.

Budapest is the latest "world-class" city to pass on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, after an opposition group collected more than a quarter of a million signatures demanding a referendum.

This bidding cycle has already seen Rome; Hamburg, Germany; and Boston withdraw over concerns about the costs associated with staging the mega-sporting event.

The bidding process for the 2022 Winter Olympics also was hampered by waning public interest.

Wednesday's decision was made at a meeting between Tarlos, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the chairman of the Hungarian Olympic committee.

Epic rain expected in Southern California
Santa Barbara and Ventura counties received rainfall rates of up to an inch an hour early Friday, forecasters said. High wind warnings , storm, flash flood and high surf warnings were issued throughout the Los Angeles area.

So far, bid leaders from L.A. and Paris have said they remain focused only on 2024.

Sport quote Balazs Furjes, the head of Budapest's organising team, as telling Inforadio: "The ship has sailed, it seems".

There has been speculation that two of the finalists ultimately could leave Peru as winners: one city awarded the 2024 Games and the other given the rights to host in 2028. The decision awaits approval by the Budapest City Assembly.

"Let us discuss. This is a discussion", International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach told the Associated Press in response to that speculation, per Olympic Talk. Both cities have hosted the Games twice, though Los Angeles (1932, 1984) has done so far more recently than Paris (1920, 1924).

The LA2024 committee did not immediately comment on Wednesday's news.

  • Regina Holmes