South African President Jacob Zuma said his country would be “very happy” to host the first Olympic on the African continent, and believes, after hosting the 2010 World Cup, they now have “sufficient facilities to do so” by 2024.
“If we are given an opportunity in the near future, we’ll certainly welcome that…” Zuma told City Press. “Ever since 1994, we have been part of the world and have hosted a number of important world events… We certainly welcome if the Olympic committee offered us to host.”
Durban, South Africa is seen as the most likely candidate, and actually considered a bid to host the 2020 Games before the government decided in 2011 to use the available money on more pressing national priorities, namely the funding of social services. But a feasibility study was carried out by the government in 2012, and now the Olympics are once again a possibility.
On top of going against fellow African cities like Nairobi, Kenya and Casablanca, Morocco in the 2024 bid, Durban is like to face bids from a strong U.S. contender like Los Angeles or Philadelphia, as well as the 100-year anniversary of the last Paris Games, and cities like Berlin, Rome, Toronto, and Dubai.
Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi