Budapest, February 23 (MTI) – Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics would only have had a chance against those of its “strong, and moreover, unified” rivals if Hungary had been “fully unified” behind it, the government commissioner in charge of the bid said on Thursday.
The prime minister’s cabinet office announced on Wednesday that it had passed a resolution proposing that the City of Budapest and the Hungarian Olympic Committee should withdraw Budapest’s Olympic bid.
“Over the coming weeks we would have been locked in a race with two internationally powerful and fully unified cities,” Balázs Fürjes told MTI. He said Hungary would have faced an uphill battle but could still have “come out of left field to take an upset victory” if it had been unified behind the bid.
Fürjes said that unlike Hungary, the remaining candidates, Paris and Los Angeles, were “completely unified” behind their own Olympic bids.
He noted that France was preparing to hold a presidential election, adding that its political players had still remained unified behind Paris’s bid. The political scene in that country is filled with “fierce battles on a thousand issues”, but “nobody has ever attacked” the Olympic bid “for political gain”, he said.
Concerning Los Angeles, Fürjes said the US had just wrapped up a gruelling presidential campaign of its own. He said the two opposing sides of that election were now fighting side by side to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles.
He said proposing a withdrawal of Budapest’s Olympic bid was “the only responsible decision” in view of the “broken national unity” on the issue.