USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun admitted a mistake had been made by selecting Boston as the USOC contender for 2024 ©Getty Images

A mistake was made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in initially selecting Boston as its candidate in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic race, the body's chief executive Scott Blackmun has admitted, before expressing his gratitude at their second chance to nominate Los Angeles.

Speaking at the opening of the body's annual Assembly in Colorado Springs, Blackmun said he did not want to dwell on the failure of Boston but felt he owed those present an explanation of what went wrong.

Boston's bid was dropped at the end of July following huge public criticism orchestrated by opposition group No Boston Olympics, with the wavering support offered by Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and other key local figures also significant.

Blackmun, who spoke alongside USOC chairman Larry Probst, admitted that it was this failure to attract significant public support which was most crucial.

He referred to this year's Super Bowl, where the Seattle Seahawks threw a pass that was intercepted in the closing seconds of their defeat to the New England Patriots, to draw a comparison with another gamble not coming off in sport. 

“We were assured, and we believed, that the Boston bid leaders could rally the citizens of Boston,” he told the assembled delegates.

“That did not happen for a number of reasons which I will not belabour here today.

“For eight months this year, Larry and I lived on large slices of that always nourishing . . . humble pie.

“The question is, should we have taken the risk?

“In hindsight, the answer is no, just like it is for the Seattle Seahawks and their decision to throw at the goal line in the closing moments of the Super Bowl.

"We made a bad call.”

USOC have come a long way since Larry Probst announced Boston as their initial candidate for 2024 in January ©Getty Images
USOC have come a long way since Larry Probst announced Boston as their initial candidate for 2024 in January ©Getty Images

The officials then described their gratitude that they had been able to select Los Angeles as an alternative bid.

He described how they are "sleeping better now because of one American city . . . a city that stood up and gave us a second chance when we needed it most".

Los Angeles, whose bid leader Casey Wasserman was introduced to the Assembly, was described as “the world capital of entertainment", as well as “the epicentre of imagination, a citadel of storytelling, a city as you will hear, with an unrivaled set of existing and new sports venues”.

But his comments have already been criticised by No Boston Olympics, who claim USOC's "irresponsible demands" were to blame.

“USOC leadership has finally acknowledged that Boston 2024 was a risky bid that the people of Massachusetts never embraced,” they said in a statement.

“Our Commonwealth has always moved forward on its own terms - our refusal to submit to the USOC’s irresponsible demands of host cities is another chapter in that remarkable history.”

Los Angeles is one of five cities have confirmed their bids last week, along with four European contenders in Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome.

A final decision is due to be made by the IOC at its Session in Lima in 2017.

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