Deciding On The 2024 Olympics: Seine Or Santa Monica?

Deciding On The 2024 Olympics: Seine Or Santa Monica?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After years of planning and politicking, the selection of the location of the 2024 Summer Olympics is turning out to be between two large global cities.

Several candidate cities expressed interest in hosting the 2024 Olympics including Rome (Italy), Nairobi (Kenya), Casablanca (Morocco), Durban (South Africa), Johannesburg (South Africa), Doha (Qatar), Brisbane (Australia), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Istanbul (Turkey), Baku (Azerbaijan), and Los Angeles (USA).

As the bids were announced, city by city fell by the wayside, leaving the lead pack of Rome, Paris, Budapest, and Los Angeles.

But Rome pulled out last year and Budapest reportedly just dropped out. This leaves only Paris and Los Angeles as the two possibilities to host the world’s Olympic athletes and the 2024 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

Hungarian politician Zoltan Kovacs confirmed that the Hungarian bid will be officially withdrawn after a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic Committee. According to the Associated Press, the local population prefers to spend public funds on improvements in hospitals and education rather than on its Olympic efforts.

Throughout the history of the Olympic Games, swimming events have been held in the following open bodies of water:

* 1896 Athens Olympics (Games of the I Olympiad): Bay of Zea off the Piraeus coast in the Aegean Sea of Greece
* 1900 Paris Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): Seine River in Paris, France
* 1904 St. Louis Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): Man-made pond near Skinker and Wydown Boulevards in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
* 1906 Athens Intercalated Games: Neo Phaliron Bay off the coast of Athens, Greece
* 2008 Beijing Olympics (Games of the XXIX Olympiad): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park (顺义奥林匹克水上公园 or 順義奧林匹克水上公園 in Chinese), outside Beijing, China
* 2012 London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad): Serpentine in London, UK * 2016 Rio Olympics (Games of the XXXI Olympiad): Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
* 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Games of the XXXII Olympiad): Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, Japan

If the city of Paris wins the right to bring back the 2024 Olympic Games, then it will be interesting to see where they will stage the 10 km marathon swim.

One possibility is the urban beach that stretches one mile along the Seine in the heart of Paris, just steps from the Louvre.

During the 1900 Olympic Games, the muddied waters of the Seine hosted the swimming events. With the river current pushing them along, the swimming times were fast. John Arthur Jarvis, a renowned swimmer from Great Britain [shown on left] won the longest events, the 1 km and 4 km river swims.

Frederick Lane of Australia won the 200m freestyle and the 200m obstacle race. Ernst Hoppenberg of Germany won the 200m backstroke and 200m team race.

If Los Angeles wins the 2024 Olympic Games bid, then there are several good possibilities along the Southern California coast:

* Manhattan Beach
* Santa Monica Beach
* Huntington Beach
* Long Beach
* Castaic Lake

Manhattan Beach is where the beach volleyball events will be held and is a wide white sand beach with a long history of holding professional beach volleyball tournaments and ocean swims between its piers.

Santa Monica Beach is close to the anticipated Olympic Villages of USC and UCLA with a wide white sand beach and a history of holding mass ocean events near its massive pier.

Huntington Beach is where the Olympic surfing events may be held and is a wide white sand beach with a long history of holding ocean swims and innumerable professional surfing contests near its massive pier.

* Long Beach is where the 1932 Olympics rowing events were held and has a long history of holding competitive triathlons and open water swims.

* Castaic Lake is where USA Swimming has held its open water swimming national championships on several occasions.

France or America, Paris or Los Angeles…where will the 2024 Summer Olympic Games be held? Stay tuned to find out from the IOC this September.

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Steven Munatones