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April 26, 2013

Tulsa wants 2024 Olympics, would bring Native American theme

NEW YORK —

The U.S. Olympic Committee is talking to 10 cities about a possible bid for the 2024 Summer Games, including a joint proposal from San Diego and Mexican neighbor Tijuana.

Following failed bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, the USOC sent out letters to 35 American cities in February to gauge interest in a potential run for 2024.

“We’re in discussion with about 10 cities actively now,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said in an interview after speaking to the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York. “The process is really working the way it was supposed to.”

Los Angeles, which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, and Philadelphia have announced their interest. The mayor of Tulsa, Okla., Dewey Bartlett, told the USOC in a letter last month the city would be interested in submitting a bid with a “Native America theme.”

Blackmun said San Diego and Tijuana have also approached the USOC about a joint bid. He declined to identify other cities considered as potential candidates, saying they preferred to keep it confidential for now. Three cities, including Chicago, have formally said they are not interested in bidding.

Blackmun said he would be surprised if any other cities came forward at this point.

“We don’t want to submit a bid we don’t think we can win,” Blackmun told the APSE gathering. “We have to assess our chances. ... We want this bid to be a national bid, an American, bid, not just a city bid. We want to make sure we have been as inclusive as possible.”

The United States hasn’t hosted a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games. New York mounted a failed bid for the 2012 Games, which went to London, and Chicago suffered a stinging first-round defeat in the IOC vote for the 2016 Olympics, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.

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