Olympic Rings

USOC evaluating 35 cities for potential 2024 bid

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The USOC sent letters to 35 mayors Tuesday in order to gauge interest and begin the process of hosting its first Olympics since 2002.

“Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in the letter.

“This letter does not guarantee that the USOC will bid for the 2024 Games, but rather is an initial step in evaluating a potential bid.”

The letter detailed the necessary requirements for hosting the Games, including 45,000 hotel rooms, an international airport, public transit, and workforce of more than 200,000 people.

The cities that have already expressed interest include Dallas, Tulsa, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles, which hosted in 1932 and 1984. My vote still goes to Phoenix.

Paris is seen as a favorite to host its third Olympics, but first in a century. Rome, Dubai, Doha, and Durban, South Africa are also strong contenders to host. The final vote won’t take place until 2017.

The USOC failed to secure bids for New York in 2012 and Chicago in 2016, which was blamed on disagreements regarding revenue sharing between the IOC and USOC. Those disagreements have since been patched up through negotiations.

Here’s a full list of the 35 cities that recieved the letter:

Phoenix, Arizona
Los Angeles, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Denver, Colorado
Washington, D.C.
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Detroit, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
St. Louis, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York, New York
Rochester, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Seattle, Washington

Katie Ledecky throws first pitch as Bryce Harper holds medals (video)

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Katie Ledecky‘s first pitch at a Washington Nationals game Wednesday was an easy strike. Taking care of her medals, however, was a bit more time-consuming.

Near the mound before the pitch, it took Ledecky 25 seconds to take off each of her five 2016 Olympic medals from around her neck and hand them to reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper.

“We kind of planned that,” Ledecky said in a TV interview. “When I got to the park today, I proposed that idea. I guess Bryce offered. He wanted to be the one that held them.”

Ledecky, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, previously threw first pitches at Nationals Park after her first Olympic title in 2012, when she was 15 years old, and at the start of the 2014 playoffs.

Ledecky is leaving the D.C. area to begin classes at Stanford. She is expected to swim collegiately this season. The first meet is Sept. 25.

VIDEO: Lochte ‘guarantees’ Phelps will compete at 2020 Olympics

Michael Phelps co-hosts ‘America’s Got Talent’ (video)

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Michael Phelps co-hosted “America’s Got Talent” with Nick Cannon on NBC on Wednesday, taking a seat between judges Mel B and Heidi Klum, three days after the Rio Olympic Closing Ceremony.

Phelps said he and his fianceé, Nicole, watch the show regularly after dinner.

Cannon asked Phelps to reflect on completing his career with 23 Olympic gold medals.

“At that moment was when all the emotions came out, because I was finally happy with everything that I did in my career, and I was able to retire how I wanted to,” Phelps said. “But, most importantly, I had our first child in the stands there watching the race. He wasn’t always awake, but it’s a completely different experience being able to look up and see your baby boy up there after a race.”

The whole episode is here.

VIDEO: Lochte ‘guarantees’ Phelps will compete at 2020 Olympics