January 5 - Germany's International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Thomas Bach has claimed there is a strong possibility that his country could mount a bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Berlin and Hamburg have continued to express an interest in hosting the competition, although a German bid is likely to rest on the outcome of the current 2020 bid race that sees Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo up against each other.
The winner will be decided this year by the IOC at their Session in Buenos Aires on September 7 and should Madrid win, it is unlikely the Summer Olympics and Paralympics will go straight back to mainland Europe in 2024.
But an Istanbul or Tokyo win could open the door for a successful German bid in 2024 and Bach, who is also the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) President, said it is something that definitely excites him.
"We are very pleased with the interest being shown by Berlin and Hamburg in the 2024 Olympic Games," he said.
"In September the IOC decides on 2020.
"That will be a clear indicator whether a European bid for 2024 is worthwhile."
Of the two, Berlin would appear Germany's most likely bidder.
The German capital, which hosted the infamous 1936 "Nazi" Olympics, last bid for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2000 but was eliminated in the second round as the event was ultimately awarded to Sydney.
Any German bid would undoubtedly be strong in 2024, particularly with Bach at the helm.
Bach is the man considered the favourite to become the next IOC President when Jacques Rogge steps down in September, and he also admitted a Munich bid for the 2022 Winter Games remains a possibility.
Munich bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympics where they lost out to eventual winners Pyeongchang in South Korea and Bach suggested the German city could return for the event.
However, he said any Munich 2022 bid would most likely rest on the outcome of the German national State elections next autumn as Government support would be vital.
"We need a strong signal (for Munich 2022) with a large majority and we need unity in politics," he said.
"A bid requires that Government and also most of the opposition agree in support of the Olympics.
"This is important for the estimation of the IOC."
But despite talk of 2022, it is the race for the 2024 Games that is drawing the most interest and it is already shaping up to be a heavyweight contest with America likely to move for the event after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) settled its revenue sharing dispute with the IOC last year.
Paris is also considered a strong contender for the competition as a bid would come exactly 100 years after the French capital last hosted the Olympics in 1924.
South Africa is also tipped to bid to stage the first ever Olympics in Paralympics in Africa, while Toronto, St Petersburg, Rome, Baku and Doha are also potential 2024 bidders.
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