South Africa is preparing to bid for the 2024 Olympics.
“I think Africa is ready to host an Olympics,” International Olympic Committee member and former South African Olympic Committee president Sam Ramsamy said Monday, according to the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). “As South Africa, we are readying to bid for the 2024 Games and with the IOC putting up measures to make the bidding process simpler [in Agenda 2020, to be discussed and potentially approved next week], then we and Africa in general have a very good chance of earning that opportunity.”
An African city has never hosted an Olympics. The most recent bid from the continent was by Cape Town, South Africa, for the 2004 Olympics, which were won by Athens in 1997. Cape Town was third in voting.
South Africa, the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010, previously discussed bidding for the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.
In November, a top official from South Africa’s Gauteng Province said the region wanted to bid for the 2024 Olympics. The cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg are located in the Gauteng Province, which is the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces and about the size of New Jersey.
A specific 2024 South African bid city was not in the AIPS report Monday.
A South African bid for the 2024 Olympics could be a top rival to a potential U.S. bid. The four finalists for a U.S. bid — Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — faced a reported Monday deadline to submit proposals to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The USOC isn’t expected to name its 2024 bid city (again, if it decides to bid) until after the IOC discusses Agenda 2020 next week. The four cities will make presentations at a USOC board meeting Dec. 16, according to The Associated Press.
The USOC announcement is expected in January. The IOC will vote to decide the 2024 Olympic host in 2017.
Other potential bids could come from a German city, Paris, Rome, Doha in Qatar and Baku in Azerbaijan.