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LA, Paris left in race for 2024 Summer Olympics after Budapest withdraws

23 February 2017

Budapest is set to withdraw its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving only Paris and Los Angeles in the race. Such a decision would reward two strong bids and also buy the International Olympic Committee some time to rethink its bidding process before again asking cities to throw their hats in the ring. Bid supporters however insisted that Budapest, which unlike Paris or Los Angeles has never hosted the Games, was more suited than its rivals to the International Olympic Committee's low-priced Agenda 2020 strategy.

The final decision was reportedly made Wednesday during a meeting that included the country's prime minister, Viktor Orban, Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic Committee. Especially if there are people who want to turn the Olympics into politics.

Budapest has "never been as close as now to obtaining the Olympics. but now it seems there won't be a good outcome", Furjes told the city assembly.

The United States' Olympic Committee and the Olympic organisers in Los Angeles were not immediately available to comment on the Hungarian decision.

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According to Reuters, a poll released earlier Wednesday showed 56 percent of Budapest voters opposed a bid, while only a third of all Hungarians supported it.

After local opponents of the candidacy last week submitted a quarter of a million signatures on a petition for a referendum on the bid, Tarlos had suggested the city might quit the race.

They were aided by several political parties critical of right-wing strongman Orban.

No opposition group has had such an impact on a major issue since Orban rose to power in 2010.

LA, Paris left in race for 2024 Summer Olympics after Budapest withdraws