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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo sounding increasingly positive about bid for 2024 Olympics

03/12/2015 12:12 EDT | Updated 05/12/2015 05:59 EDT
PARIS - Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is sounding increasingly positive about a Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics.

"Now, we're in the process of being able to take on this bid," Hidalgo said Thursday on France Inter radio.

Last November, Hidalgo had expressed concerns about the spectre of white elephants if France hosted the games. But in February, she warmed to the idea of a bid as she welcomed the results of a feasibility study during a ceremony at city hall.

On Thursday, Hidalgo seemed even more upbeat.

"The sports movement has asked itself the right questions: 'Why did we lose? What is required to build a successful bid? How much does it cost? What ecological mark will the games make?'"

Hidalgo will decide by June whether Paris should bid.

Paris, which last staged the Summer Olympics in 1924, bid unsuccessfully for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games. France also failed with a bid from Annecy for the 2018 Winter Games.

Rome and Boston are the only declared bidders so far for 2024. The deadline for submission of bids is Sept. 15, with the IOC vote in 2017.

Germany will choose between Berlin and Hamburg. Other possible contenders include Doha, Qatar; Budapest, Hungary; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Istanbul, Turkey.

Hidalgo said the northeastern Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis could have a crucial role to play if Paris does bid. She calls is a "strategic" location and ideal place to create a lasting legacy.

"A massive effort can be made, through a big competition like the games, to help an area transform itself by getting all the people involved," Hidalgo said.

A few months ago, Prime Minister Manuel Valls endorsed the city's candidacy for the world's fair in 2025.

President Francois Hollande, who has voiced support for a Paris Olympic bid, has said both events can be pursued at the same time.

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