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IOC approves awarding 2024, 2028 Olympics to LA, Paris

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The IOC ratified a proposal to award both the 2024 and 2028 Olympics this summer, paving the way for Los Angeles and Paris to both host the Games.

Which city gets 2024 and which gets 2028 is to be decided after further negotiations among both cities and the IOC. LA and Paris both prefer 2024 over 2028.

“One of them would put their hand up for 2028 and that same city would vacate 2024,” IOC vice president John Coates said.

If an agreement can’t be reached, only the normal 2024 Olympic vote will happen in September between LA and Paris, the two remaining 2024 finalists.

The last time two Olympic hosts were determined at once was in 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded, according to Olympstats.com.

The IOC deemed the LA and Paris bids for 2024 so strong that it wanted to grant an Olympics to each city.

“This is a golden opportunity,” IOC president Thomas Bach said of the rare double-awarding proposal by the IOC executive board before it was ratified in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It’s hard to imagine something better.”

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant closes LA 2024 bid presentation

The U.S. would host its first Olympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996). Paris would host for the first time since 1924.

The U.S. would end its longest drought between hosting an Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960. It failed in bids for 2012 (New York City) and 2016 (Chicago).

Paris, a finalist for 1992, 2008 and 2012, is reported by many as the frontrunner for the 2024 Olympics, which would be on the 100th anniversary of its last time hosting.

A Paris bid leader has gone so far as to issue an ultimatum, repeatedly, earlier this year that it would not accept the 2028 Olympics. LA 2024 leaders have not closed the door on accepting 2028.

“From the beginning, we approached this bid in a manner that is different from our competitors,” LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said in a presentation to IOC members before Tuesday’s vote. “We’ve never given you an ultimatum about 2024. We don’t believe in ultimatums.”

Whoever gets the 2024 and 2028 Games, this much is clear: LA and Paris would join London as the only cities to host the Olympics three times.

LA and Paris were the remaining 2024 finalists after Boston, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest dropped out.

MORE: Rose Bowl, Staples Center among LA Olympic venues

Changing political climates in France and the U.S. were also a part of this Olympic bid race.

New French President Emmanuel Macron is in Lausanne for this week’s IOC session. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his support Tuesday for an LA Olympic bid.

“The Olympic Games, as we all know, are not and have never been immune to geopolitics,” USOC chairman Larry Probst told his fellow IOC members during LA 2024’s presentation Tuesday morning. “As IOC members, we strive to separate politics and sport in our decisions. I know this is difficult, especially today. It is difficult for me as well. It is our duty to do our best.”

The LA 2024 bid presentation team included Olympic champions Janet Evans, Allyson Felix, Michael Johnson and Angela Ruggiero, who is an IOC member.

Kobe Bryant starred in the team’s last prerecorded video shown to IOC members to close its 50-minute presentation.

“To have the Olympics here and to have so many different cultures represented would be a beautiful story to tell,” Bryant said.

The video faded behind the LA 2024 slogan, “Follow the Sun,” amid applause from IOC members. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Wasserman then exchanged fist pounds at the podium.

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MORE: Paris 2024 holds race on Seine River for Olympic Day

Mondo Duplantis, Sandi Morris miss attempts at pole vault records

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Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis and U.S. athlete Sandi Morris took turns attempting world records in the pole vault Wednesday at the Meeting d’Athlétsime Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais meet at Arena Stade Regional in Liévin, France, but both were unable to clear the bar.

Duplantis, aiming to set the world record for third time in February, had no misses leading up to his record attempts. U.S. vaulter Sam Kendricks, who has won the last two world championships, cleared 5.90m but dropped out after one attempt at 5.95m. Duplantis passed on that height, then cleared 6.07m to warm up for his shot at 6.19m, just shy of 20 feet, 3 3/4 inches.

Morris’ attempt to tie Jennifer Suhr‘s world indoor record of 5.03m from 2016 was more of a surprise. Morris holds the U.S. outdoor record at 5.00m but had never done better than 4.95m indoors. She won Wednesday’s competition with a clearance of 4.83m and asked to go immediately to 5.03m, or 16 feet, 6 inches.

Yelena Isinbayeva still holds the outdoor record of 5.06m, set in 2009. Morris is second on the all-time list and is the only athlete other than Isinbayeva or Suhr to clear 5 meters either indoors or outdoors.

In the men’s pole vault, Duplantis’ clearance of 6.18m Feb. 15 in Glasgow is the best vault indoors or outdoors.  Sergey Bubka still has the highest clearance outdoors at 6.14m. Bubka also held the indoor record of 6.15m for more than 20 years, finally losing it to Renaud Lavillenie in 2014. Duplantis cleared 6.17m Feb. 9 in Poland, then added another centimeter last week in Glasgow.

READ: Duplantis raises record in Glasgow

Duplantis, Lavillenie and Bubka are the only vaulters to clear 20 feet. Kendricks cleared 6.06m, or 19-10 1/2, last summer, the highest outdoor clearance by anyone other than Bubka.

Duplantis grew up in Louisiana and attended LSU for one year, setting the NCAA indoor (5.92m) and outdoor (6.00m) before turning pro, though he was upset in the NCAA final by South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen.

Also at Wednesday’s meet:

Ronnie Baker ran 6.49 seconds in the 60m semifinals and lowered that to 6.44 in the final, second only to Christian Coleman this season. Demek Kemp finished second and tied his personal best of 6.50.

Nia Ali and Christina Clemons finished 1-2 in the women’s 60m hurdles with identical times of 7.92. Ali is the reigning world champion and Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles. She also won world indoor titles in 2014 and 2016.

Two Ethiopian runners set the fastest times of the season Samuel Tefera in the 1,500m (3:35.54) and Getnet Wale in the 3,000m (7:32.80). Wale was fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase in the 2019 world championships.

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, racing in his home country of France, won the 60m hurdles in 7.47, second this season to Grant Holloway‘s 7.38 last week.

The World Athletics Indoor Tour ends Friday in Madrid. The world indoor championships originally scheduled for March in Nanjing, China, have been postponed a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Susan Dunklee extends decade of surprises for U.S. biathletes

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When Susan Dunklee‘s time held up for second place in Friday’s 7.5km sprint, she became the first U.S. biathlete to win two world championship medals in her career and earned the sixth medal for the U.S. in world biathlon championship history.

Four of those medals have come in the past eight years.

First was Tim Burke, who had gained some fame among biathlon fans with his three World Cup podiums in the 2009-10 season and his relationship with German biathlete Andrea Henkel, who would win two Olympic gold medals and eight world championships before retiring and marrying Burke.

In that season, Burke led the World Cup briefly but faded and didn’t do well in the Olympics. But in 2012-13, he finished 10th in the World Cup overall and ended the American drought in the world championships, finishing second in the individual behind dominant French biathlete Martin Fourcade, who won his 11th non-relay world title Wednesday in the individual.

In 2017, Dunklee became the first U.S. woman to win a non-relay medal, taking the lead in the mass start after quickly knocking down all five targets in the last shooting and holding on for second. She didn’t come out of nowhere, having taken a few World Cup medals. That season, she ranked 10th overall in the World Cup.

Then came the stunner. Lowell Bailey, who had just one World Cup podium in a long career coming into the 2016-17 season, had bib 100 in the individual, a spot usually reserved for non-contenders. But he hit all 20 targets, always important in a race that penalizes athletes one minute per miss, and gutted it out through the last lap to keep a 3.3-second advantage and win the first world championship for a U.S. biathlete.

Like Dunklee, Bailey earned his medal in the midst of a strong season. The individual was won of his four top-10 finishes in the world championships, including a fourth-place finish in the sprint. He wound up eighth overall in the World Cup.

Bailey and Burke each stuck it out to compete in their fourth Olympics in 2018, then crossed the finish line together in their final race at the U.S. championships.

This season is their first in management. Bailey, also a bluegrass musician, is now U.S. Biathlon’s director of high performance. Burke is director of athlete development.

Dunklee, on the other hand, isn’t done. Her results slipped a bit after her 2017 breakthrough, but she has had some top 10s. When she shoots clean, as she did Friday, she’s a contender.

The first U.S. medal was in the first women’s world championship in 1984, when Holly Beatie, Julie Newman and Kari Swenson bronze in 3x5km relay. Swenson also finished fifth in the individual that year and returned to compete in the next two world championships after a harrowing experience in which she was abducted and shot, a story that inspired a film starring Tracy Pollan.

The only other U.S. medal in the world championships before Burke, Bailey and Dunklee was Josh Thompson‘s individual silver in 1987. The only athletes other than Burke, Bailey, Dunklee and Thompson to have World Cup podiums (excluding relays) are Jeremy Teela in 2009 and Clare Egan, who was third in a mass start last spring and is competing in the world championships this year.

U.S. Paralympians broke through with two gold medals on the first day of competition in the 2018 Paralympics.

READ: Kendall Gretsch, Dan Cnossen take gold

Wednesday saw another surprise finish for a U.S. biathlete. Leif Nordgren, whose career-best finish outside the relays is 16th, was the only athlete to go 20-for-20 on the shooting range and placed eighth in the individual.

The championships continue through through Sunday with the single mixed relay on Thursday, the men’s and women’s relays on Saturday, and the men’s and women’s mass starts on Sunday.

WATCH: World biathlon championships TV schedule

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