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A look at the five cities bidding for 2024 Olympics

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The 2024 Olympic bid race ushers in a new era.

Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are the finalists, since they submitted bids by the Sept. 15 deadline and the IOC has done away with the “applicant city” phase that it previously used to narrow the field.

However, a specific recommendation may be made by an IOC evaluation commission group to defer a city’s
candidature to a later Olympics. That would come by December 2016.

Outside of that, the five cities, should they decide to stay in the race, will be on the ballot for IOC members at the September 2017 vote in Lima, Peru.

It’s the first Summer Olympic bid cycle for International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, and under his Agenda 2020 reforms.

It’s also the first time since 1992 that none of the finalist host cities were finalists for either of the previous two Olympics. It’s the first time since 1984 that no cities outside of the U.S. and Europe are finalist bidders.

If a European city doesn’t host the 2024 Olympics, it will mark the longest stretch between Olympics for the continent ever, if Moscow 1980 is counted as a European Games.

What’s next? The five cities must submit more documents concerning their bids, followed by IOC evaluation commission visits to the cities between February 2017 and June 2017.

Here’s a look at each bid city:

Budapest

The capital of Hungary, which owns the most Olympic medals of nations that have never hosted an Olympics. It has bid for the Olympics several times and was last a finalist in 1960. Budapest will host the next World Aquatics Championships in 2017.

Hamburg

Germany’s second-largest city by population beat out the largest, Berlin, in a domestic competition to determine its 2024 bidder. Hamburg is the lone first-time bidder in this field of five. It also faces a public vote Nov. 29 that will play a role in if the bid moves forward.

Los Angeles

The U.S.’ only two-time Summer Olympic host was a finalist for the nation’s bid along with Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Boston was announced as the bid in January and backed out in July. The U.S. Olympic Committee quickly turned to Los Angeles, and the bid was announced Sept. 1. Los Angeles hopes to join London as the only three-time Olympic hosts. The U.S., which last hosted the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Games, is in the midst of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between Los Angeles 1932 and the Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Games.

MORE: Los Angeles 2024 bid venue renderings

Paris

The French capital looks to host its third Olympics, on the 100-year anniversary of its last Games in 1924. It was last a finalist in 2008 (third to Beijing) and 2012 (second to London). The Eiffel Tower area was being eyed as a venue.

Rome

The Italian capital’s bid for the 2020 Olympics was dropped due to a lack of government support. Rome also came in second place to Athens in the 2024 host voting. It hosted the Olympics in 1960. Historic sites in the city could be used for the Olympics, such as the Colosseum.

MORE: Toronto opts not to bid for 2024, but 2026 is possible

Justin Morneau nixes Olympic baseball qualifying return

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Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP with the Minnesota Twins, was taken off Canada’s Olympic baseball qualifying roster before he would have played his first competitive game in more than two years.

Morneau, 38, experienced an unspecified setback in training and was replaced on Canada’s roster for next month’s Premier12. The global tournament marks the first opportunity for many world baseball powers to qualify for the sport’s return to the Olympics.

Morneau never played in the Olympics before baseball was cut from the Games after 2008; active MLB players have never competed in the Games. But he was on Canada’s roster at all four World Baseball Classics from 2006 through 2017.

At November’s Premier12, the top nation from North and South America will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Japan and Israel are already qualified. Those that do not qualify will get another chance next year.

Morneau could become the second Major League Baseball MVP to play Olympic baseball as a medal sport. The other was Jason Giambi, who made the U.S. team in 1992, the same summer he was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Athletics.

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MORE: Joe Girardi replaced as U.S. baseball manager by World Series champion

Kolohe Andino is first U.S. Olympic surfing qualifier; Kelly Slater faces last chance

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Kolohe Andino is the first American to qualify for surfing’s Olympic debut, which leaves one spot left for 47-year-old Kelly Slater to chase at the final contest of the season.

Andino, a 25-year-old Californian whose first name means “rascal” in Hawaiian, clinched his place in Tokyo on Friday at the penultimate stop on the World Surf League Championship Tour in Portugal. He is ranked fifth in the world, trailing a trio of Brazilians.

One more American man will join Andino on the Olympic team. It will be one of Slater, the 11-time world champion, John John Florence, the 2016 and 2017 World champion, and rising 22-year-old Hawaiian Seth Moniz.

Slater was handed a golden opportunity to qualify when Florence announced in early July that he tore an ACL for the second time in 13 months. Florence had won two of the first five events this season.

Slater has been chasing the sidelined Florence in the standings ever since. But it has not been easy.

Slater hasn’t made the quarterfinals in any of his last seven contests going into December’s finale — the prestigious Billabong Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu.

“Ninth place, to me, used to be a pretty awful result. I’m used to at least a quarterfinal on for most of my career,” he said in July, noting a back injury. “I’m not horrified by my results, but I’m also not surprised. Maybe other people are because everyone focuses on my age and that kind of thing. It’s not like I’m going to all of a sudden forget how to do this thing, you know?”

Slater, who won the Pipe Masters seven times between 1992 and 2013, must reach the quarterfinals at this year’s event to have any chance of passing Florence to qualify for the Olympics.

Complicating matters: Florence said in August it was his “goal to get better for Pipeline in case I have to come back and compete and gain points,” according to ESPN.com. If Florence does return for the December contest, and makes the quarterfinals, Slater could only pass him with a victory.

Moniz goes into the finale ranked one spot behind Slater, meaning he, too, can grab that second and final Olympic spot with a win or a runner-up.

Slater, who turns 48 on Feb. 11, would be the oldest U.S. Summer Olympic rookie competitor in a sport other than equestrian, sailing or shooting (or art competitions!) in the last 100 years, supplanting Martina Navratilova, according to the OlyMADMen.

MORE: Top U.S. surfer has links to Egg McMuffin, Guinness World Record holder

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