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U.S. will bid for 2024 Olympics, no city chosen yet

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The U.S. Olympic Committee will bid for the 2024 Olympics, but the city hasn’t been chosen yet.

One of Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. will be the U.S. bid. The USOC had not committed to bidding until after those four finalists gave presentations to the USOC board of directors in San Francisco on Tuesday.

It hopes to choose its city after another board meeting that it hopes to hold in early January, with more discussion on the pros and cons of each city. Not all board members were on hand Tuesday.

“It’s a four-way tie,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said when asked if there’s a front-runner among the cities.

The USOC, which will go eight years between Olympic bids, could announce its bid city any time between now and February.

“I would say within 30-60 days we would probably select a city,” USOC chairman Larry Probst said last Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The International Olympic Committee’s invitation phase for bids begins Jan. 15, with a deadline to declare a bid of Sept. 15.

Of the four U.S. finalist cities, Los Angeles is the only one that hosted an Olympics — in 1932 and 1984.

San Francisco recently attempted bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. New York and Chicago became the respective U.S. bids those years and lost in IOC voting to London and Rio de Janeiro.

All four cities’ mayors (mayor-elect for D.C.) were part of presentation teams Tuesday. The D.C. presentation team included Olympic champion swimmer Katie Ledecky, a high school senior from Bethesda, Md., former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

The U.S. last hosted the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

The current 22-year stretch is its longest gap between hosting Olympics since it went 28 years between 1932 and 1960.

Italy and Germany’s Olympic Committees said they will also bid for the 2024 Olympics. Rome will be Italy’s bid. Germany will choose between Berlin and Hamburg by the end of March.

A South African member of the IOC said his nation is also readying to bid for the 2024 Olympics. An African nation has never hosted an Olympics.

Paris may also bid to host the Olympics on the 100-year anniversary of the last time it hosted.

The IOC will choose candidate cities from the list of applicant cities in April/May 2016. IOC members will vote to choose the 2024 Olympic host city in 2017 at a session in Lima, Peru.

2024 Olympics coverage

Ragan Smith delivers in first U.S. championship title win

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ragan Smith embraced the role of heavy favorite coming into the U.S. gymnastics championships.

Thrust into the spotlight for the first time in her career, the 17-year-old hardly appeared intimidated by the stage. Smith pulled away from the field to claim her first national title Sunday, posting a score of 115.250, more than three points clear of Jordan Chiles in second place and Riley McCusker in third.

Smith opened up a 1.3-point lead over McCusker in the opening round Friday but admitted afterward she wasn’t particularly impressed by her own performance. She was considerably sharper less than 48 hours later, her 57.850 total in the finals was the best in the 16-woman all-around field by nearly two points.

Smith is one of the few holdovers from the 2016 Olympic cycle, serving as an alternate for the “Final Five” team that won half of the available medals in Rio de Janeiro last fall. Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez are taking breaks or have moved on, leaving Smith as the standard bearer for new national team coordinator Valeri Liukin.

The program appears to be in solid hands. Smith ditched “The Addams Family” themed floor routine she used last year for something a little more mature. It’s not the only part of her gymnastics that has grown up. Smith finished first on floor and beam and tied for third on bars.

Smith will be in the mix for the all-around title at the world championships in Montreal, where she’ll have a chance to extend the U.S.’s dominance. An American woman has won the world or Olympic title each of the last six years. Barring injury, Smith should be right there.

Liukin said he wasn’t alarmed following an uneven performance by the field in preliminaries, calling it a positive step for a group lacking in experience. The gymnastics were markedly improved in the finals.

Chiles slipped by McCusker into second thanks to a fabulous save on beam in which she turned a near disaster into something decidedly artful.

Chiles was in the middle of “wolf turn” (basically spinning on one foot while in a crouch on a 4-inch wide piece of wood) when she nearly fell over. Instead she rose to her feet, kept rotating, and went right into the next part of her routine as if it was planned all along.

Chiles’ steadiness gives Liukin another option as he tries to put together the rest of the four-woman team that will join Smith in Montreal. McCusker, only recently recovered from foot and wrist injuries, tried to keep the heat on Smith but stepped out of bounds following the last tumbling pass on her floor routine. McCusker finished first on bars — her legs practically magnetized together as she went from bar to bar — to win the event with ease.

Ashton Locklear, like Smith an alternate last summer, wound up second on bars with a watered down routine as he makes her way back from her own injury issues and should have time to install upgrades before Montreal.

Whoever heads to Canada in October will go with the usual expectations for what has become the sport’s most dominant program.

MORE: Simone Biles says being back in the gym is “OK” (video)

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Simone Biles says being back in the gym is “OK” (video)

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Simone Biles has competed in the six previous U.S. National Championships, winning the last four, but in Anaheim this year, she’s watching from the sidelines. Biles won four gold medals (team, all-around, vault and floor) and one bronze (on beam) last summer at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

This week she revealed she has returned to the gym to prepare for a yet to be determined event, in her return to competition.

When asked how she’s been doing in the gym by NBC Sports’ Andrea Joyce, Biles responded with her signature smile accompanied by an endearingly bashful eye roll, “the beginning is…OK.”

MORE: Danell Leyva on why he’s retiring

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