TORONTO – After a record-breaking performance by Canadian athletes at the Pan Am Games, the head of the Canadian Olympic Committee is leading the charge for Toronto to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Marcel Aubut will “use the full power of his office” to push for the bid, which would mark the city’s third official attempt to host the Olympics, a spokesman said Saturday.
Aubut had previously hinted that he would back the move but stopped short of openly promoting a bid.
The president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee was quick to throw his support behind the pitch.
“The City of Toronto has proved to all of us that its citizens, infrastructure, organizers and leaders are world-class when it comes to hosting a multi-sport Games,” Gaetan Tardif said in a statement.
The Pan Am Games – where Canadian athletes set a national record for most medals won at the multi-sport event – have stirred talk of another Olympic bid in recent days.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has said officials will weigh the pros and cons as soon as the Pan Am Games wrap up. The cost of bidding, as well as staging the Olympics, is among the concerns.
Several published reports have estimated a bid would cost at least $50 million and a source confirmed that figure to The Canadian Press.
Tory also stressed that he doesn’t want to lead the city into another rejection.
Cities wishing to host the 2024 Games have until Sept. 15 to register their interest with the International Olympic Committee. A short list will be selected next year, with the winner chosen in the summer of 2017.
The man who helped Vancouver land the 2010 Winter Olympics has said the timing might be right for Toronto this time.
John Furlong said the excitement over the Pan Am Games would make it easier to generate public support for an Olympic bid, which is key to winning over the IOC.
Others have pointed to the city’s new sports facilities, as well as new Olympic rules allowing host cities to use existing venues, as another point in Toronto’s favour.