Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Olympic Chief Aubut Urges Toronto to Get in the Game for 2024

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Olympic Chief Aubut Urges Toronto to Get in the Game for 2024

Article excerpt

Aubut presses Toronto to bid for 2024

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TORONTO - The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee has launched a full-court press for a Toronto Olympic bid, while the city is playing it more cautious.

COC president Marcel Aubut declared he'd utilize "the full power of my office" when the Pan American Games closed Sunday to back a Toronto bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

He laid out in detail at a closing news conference why Toronto should submit its name Sept. 15 to the International Olympic Committee.

The COC's closing news conference is traditionally held to talk about the Canadian team's performance, but the question-and-answer portion was dominated by talk of an Olympic bid.

"The Pan Ams paved the way for an Olympic bid," Aubut said. "This is the momentum we needed to talk seriously about this.

"It's time that Toronto, the fourth-biggest city in North America, has a chance to show to the world they are also a global city.

"Toronto deserves the next opportunity. For what they achieved, they deserve to go further as such. And further is the Games. It's the biggest show on earth, the Summer Olympic Games."

While Aubut talked fervently about why Toronto should throw its hat into the Olympic rings, Toronto mayor John Tory stayed under the radar on the subject.

When asked for comment by The Canadian Press on Sunday, a city spokesperson referred to an earlier statement that "any discussion of a possible Olympic bid would take place after the close of these Games."

The Parapan Am Games run Aug. 7-15, so the clock is ticking on Toronto declaring itself a candidate city.

When Rob Ford was mayor, the city's economic development committee voted unanimously Jan. 20, 2014, to defer indefinitely a debate over a potential 2024 bid. Toronto's next city council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Aubut alluded to discussions he's had with Tory during the Pan Am Games.

"Nothing can be done without the mayor, without the city," Aubut said. "You need a mayor to start the process. The mayor of Toronto, he expressed some interest the last two weeks, especially last week.

"He has my confidence and he's going to do what's good for Torontonians. …

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