Rome, Budapest won’t hold 2024 Olympic bid referendums

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Budapest’s city council has rejected a proposal by members of the opposition parties to hold a referendum on the Hungarian capital’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos rebuffed the notion as “political demagoguery” and said Wednesday it was unclear whether Budapest residents had adequate information about the Olympics two years before the host city is chosen.

While Prime Minister Viktor Orban‘s government has thrown its full support behind the bid, critics have cited the likelihood of cost overruns and the stress to be put on the city’s infrastructure as reasons for concern.

According to Nezopont Intezet, a pro-government research institute, support among Hungarians for hosting the Olympics has risen from 40 percent in August 2014 to 53 percent now.

While Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics was rejected by German voters, leaders of Rome’s bid are sticking to their plans of avoiding a referendum.

“The citizens in Rome are very particular,” bid ambassador Fiona May said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “Italians are very passionate. I don’t think you need to do a referendum. You feel it.”

Rome’s bid is centered around the Foro Italico complex that hosted the 1960 Games. The existing Stadio Olimpico would host track and field events and the opening and closing ceremonies, while swimming would be held at an adjacent aquatics complex.

“They’re there,” May said. “That’s a big expense that has been avoided. … It’s just a natural thing for us.”

Hamburg’s bid was scrapped after 51.6 percent of residents voted against the project in Sunday’s referendum, with 48.4 percent in favor.

“I’m not surprised,” Rome bid chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said. “The only thing that surprised me was that they made Hamburg the candidate and not Berlin.”

Rome pulled out of bidding for the 2020 Games after the Italian government declined to provide financial support. The current government backs the 2024 bid, which calls for a games operating budget of 6 billion euros ($6.3 billion).

“We don’t have any obligation or judicial instrument to form a referendum like the one in Germany,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said. “But I’ve always supported that starting in February, once we outline the bid dossier, that over the ensuing year there will be chances to discuss it and survey the city. And there’s nothing to worry about that.”

With Hamburg out of the race, four cities remain in the running for the 2024 Games. Rome is competing against Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.

Also Tuesday, Rome’s bid team unveiled a board of five trustees composed of leading members of the Italian legal world to ensure transparency amid a wide-scale corruption scandal in the capital.

Born to Jamaican parents, the British-born May won two Olympic silver medals in long jump for Italy in 1996 and 2000 after marrying an Italian. Her background has made her a symbol for a new generation of Italian immigrants and their children.

“Italy is changing and I was part of that change years ago,” she said.

MORE: Rome bid plan includes Colosseum, Circus Maximus

Wimbledon reverses ban on Russia, Belarus tennis players

Wimbledon Russia

Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon as neutral athletes after the All England Club on Friday reversed its ban from last year.

The players must comply with “appropriate conditions,” including not expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They also must not receive funding “from the Russian and/or Belarusian states (including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by the states) in relation to their participation in The Championships,” the All England Club said in a statement.

Other tennis tournaments have allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.

“We also consider alignment between the Grand Slams to be increasingly important in the current tennis environment,” the club said. “There was a strong and very disappointing reaction from some governing bodies in tennis to the position taken by the All England Club and the LTA last year with consequences which, if continued, would be damaging to the interests of players, fans, The Championships and British tennis.”

This year’s Wimbledon tournament will start on July 3. The women’s final is scheduled for July 15 and the men’s final on July 16.

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2023 World Junior Gymnastics Championships live stream schedule

World Junior Gymnastics Championships

The world junior gymnastics championships individual finals stream live on the International Gymnastics Federation YouTube channel from Friday through Sunday.

Already this week, Japan swept the men’s and women’s team titles in Antalya, Turkey. The U.S. women took silver.

The U.S. women in Friday’s all-around final are Izzy Stassi (qualified fourth) and Jayla Hang (qualified 22nd). The U.S. men in Friday’s all-around final are Kai Uemura (qualified 11th) and David Shamah (qualified 14th).

Americans also advanced to four of this weekend’s apparatus finals: women’s vault (Stassi, Hang), uneven bars (Hezly Rivera) and floor exercise (Rivera, Hang) and men’s still rings (Uemura).

Gymnastics added a biennial junior worlds starting in 2019. The 2021 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Women ages 14 or 15 and men ages 15 through 18 compete.

The U.S. team in 2019 included future senior world team members Skye Blakely, Kayla DiCello and Konnor McClain.

2023 World Junior Gymnastics Championships Live Stream Schedule

Day Competition Time (ET) Platform
Friday Men’s All-Around 7:30 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Women’s All-Around 12 p.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Saturday Apparatus Finals 7 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Sunday Apparatus Finals 7 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK

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