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Tory — as expected — announced Tuesday morning that Toronto will not submit a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. But there’s no reason Canada’s largest city can’t explore making a future bid when the timing makes more sense, he added.
“I believe that one day Toronto will be a great venue for the Olympic Games, but not in 2024,” said Tory at a news conference held at Nathan Phillips Square outside city hall. “Time was against us in building the kind of support you have to have from the community in order for this to work.
“I am not saying no to the Olympics. I am saying not this time.”
The timing Tory referred to was caused in part by a sudden, and somewhat unexpected, groundswell of support for an Olympic bid that grew during Toronto’s successful hosting of this summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Those games wrapped in mid-August, leaving little time to muster support and answer all the questions about funding and infrastructure in time for today’s deadline to submit a letter announcing Toronto’s intention to bid.
Tory, however, said the Games shouldn’t be used as a tool to loosen funding for things the city needs.
“We have to invest in making sure this city works for everyone,” he said. “Making that investment happen shouldn’t be contingent on a vote of the International Olympic Committee. It should happen because it is the right thing to do.”
Speaking before Tuesday’s announcement, Rahul Bhardwaj, who was vice-president of Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid, said Tory didn’t have enough time to build the kind of consensus and line up money from senior governments needed to make a bid.
“It was a short time frame to really evaluate this,” said Bhardwaj on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning show Tuesday. “If you’re keen on having the Games, you’re going to have to get your ducks lined up, and that takes support from the province and the federal government, and in the midst of a [federal] election, I think it would be tough to get those pieces teed up.”
“I think he realized that he didn’t have the support on council, he didn’t really have public support and he didn’t have a mandate,” said Rivando. “He didn’t campaign on this, neither did any of the councillors.”
Toronto unsuccessfully bid for the 1996 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and Tory has said he didn’t want to lead a third failed attempt.?
Among cities in line to try to host the 2024 Games are:
The winner will be selected in 2017.
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