By Paul Osborne

Larry Probst is confident that previous IOC USOC tensions will not affect Bostons bid to gost the 2024 Olympics ©Getty ImagesUnited States Olympic Committee (USOC) chairman Larry Probst is confident previous tensions between his country and the Olympic Movement have been buried in the past when speaking positively about Boston's bid for the 2024 Games.

Relations between the US and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have proved fragile in the past, with heated discussions held over the share of revenue across the Olympic Movement.

This relationship proved costly to the US bid for both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where New York and Chicago lost out to London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

Probst is confident that such an issue will not become a barrier to the nation's latest bid to host the global sporting spectacle however, following the USOC's decision to name Boston as its candidate of choice for 2024.

"There were some issues that existed six or seven years ago where the relationships between the USOC and IOC was not terrific," he said today.

"One of those was the revenue sharing issue that we ended up resolving a couple of years ago but our IOC members, Scott Blackmun, everybody on the USOC staff have worked really hard to build and improve relationship with the leadership of the IOC and all of the IOC members and I just think that we're in a much better position to bid.

"We've received a lot of encouragement from the leadership of the IOC and many IOC members telling us that it's America's time to step up to the plate and put forward a bid.

"We're very excited about doing that."

Boston was named ahead of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C as the United States' candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty ImagesBoston was named ahead of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C as the United States' candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Boston was named ahead of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C in a vote of the USOC Board at Denver International Airport yesterday.

The decision came as a surprise, with Los Angeles or San Francisco thought of as favourites to lead the US in their bid to host a first Olympic Games since Salt Lake City 2002, and a first Summer one since Atlanta 1996.

Probst admitted that is was a "very, very difficult decision for the USOC Board," with "four great proposals from four fantastic cities all led by great teams with great Mayors."

He admitted, however, that the leadership seen in the Boston bid, headed by John Fisher and Mayor Martin Walsh, was above and beyond that seen in the three other bids, with the bid also "athlete centric, cost effective, cost efficient and a plan that harmonised well with the city of Boston".

"It also mirrored many of the reforms and improvement that were put forward in conjunction with the Olympic Agenda 2020," he added.

While support at the top is ripe in Boston, an anti-Olympic bid group, "No Boston Olympics", has led a campaign against having the Olympic Games in the city.

Money draining is the key argument being pursued by the local group, who believe, as have many others in previous Olympic campaigns, that the money could be spent on more community-centric efforts.

Boston's candidature has faced opposition from the No Boston Olympics group who believe the Games to be a waste of money ©No Boston OlympicsBoston's candidature has faced opposition from the No Boston Olympics group who believe the Games to be a waste of money ©No Boston Olympics

Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the USOC, admitted that the "questions that No Boston are asking are very fair and legitimate questions", adding that the USOC are "very open to sitting down with them, meeting with them and reviewing where we stand" in terms of Boston's bid concepts.

Fisher, who is chairman of the Bid Committee, added: "The more that we're able to socialise our thinking and our plan to our community, the more acceptance we received.

"The No Boston conversation is made up of a very small group of people in our city but as a result of social media their voice is heard a lot louder than it has been in the past.

"But I want to be clear about support.

"Right now we have the past six Governors unconditionally supporting this process.

"We've got the past three Mayors over the past 30 years, we have the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the new Governor that was recently installed yesterday supporting this effort and all of the Boston City Council and the Boston City Council President.

"So what we are doing on a going forward basis is continue to communicate our plan and our thinking with the communities and we are very, very confident as that process unfolds with the community that we will gain even more acceptance than we have today.

"Boston 2024 has arranged nine Citizens Advisory Group meetings from now until September that will give the public an opportunity to "discuss the benefits of hosting the Games and impact on the City."

These meetings will, according to the Mayor of Boston's chief of staff Daniel Arrigg Koh, form "a robust conversation in many different geographically diverse neighbours in the city of Boston" in which Boston 2024 "looks forward to having [this] conversation and listening to feedback of all kinds from the community".

Rome is the only other city to have officially declared so far that it will bid for the 2024 Olympics, although Boston is likely to face further opposition from Hamburg or Berlin, Baku, Budapest, Istanbul, Paris, Doha and either Pretoria or Gauteng Province in South Africa.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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