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Olympic Games in Rome won’t Happen

Federico Ghelli (September 22, 2016)
The mayor of Rome followed through on her proclaims and made the official decision to withdraw Rome’s bid to host the 2024 Games.

Virginia Raggi said no to the Rome Olympic Games in 2024.  

On Wednesday, the mayor of Rome was supposed to meet with Giovanni Malagò, president of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), but decided to skip the official meeting. Later that day, Raggi officially presented the motion to cancel the nomination of the capital for hosting the Olympic Games.

"It is irresponsible to say yes to the Olympics in Rome. We don’t want to cast more concrete in the city,” she said.

Raggi reversed the June 2015 decision when the former mayor Ignazio Marino favored the idea of an Olympiad in Rome.

Raggi’s obstructionism against the Olympic Games in Rome was one of the main points of her political campaign. She considered the Olympics as not sustainable from an economic point of view. To justify her "no," the mayor took as examples Hamburg, Madrid and Boston, who all withdrew their bids to host the 2024 Games earlier this year.

"The Olympics would be only a bargain for manufacturers," Raggi said. “We are not against sport and we will do more than the Olympics would for sport in Rome."

Malagò believes there could be other ways to move forward, such as by bringing the issue directly to the government. However, CONI won’t go against the mayor's decision.

“We will align with the decision, which in any case we consider unjust and wrong,” he said.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi commented on the withdrawal as well. According to him, Rome has no more chances to host the Olympic Games in 2024. He argues that if Raggi decided to say no it was because the city council as well is on her side.

“Taking ownership of the decision is up to her, Renzi said. “What saddens me is that she’s giving the country an idea that great events cannot happen because someone steals. As if her party is saying: we cannot change things."

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