Letta revives Italian Olympic dream

But Milan may rival Rome to be Italy's bidder

Letta revives Italian Olympic dream

Rome, September 9 - Premier Enrico Letta has said an Italian city may bid to host the 2024 Olympics, but some northerners want Milan to run for the event instead of the capital. Rome was considered one of the favourites to land the 2020 Olympics before former premier Mario Monti decided last year to drop its bid due to concerns about the cost in a time of financial and economic crisis. But Letta said that Italy could consider a bid for the 2024 Games after the International Olimpic Committee (IOC) voted in Buenos Aires to award the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo at the weekend. If Madrid's bid for the 2020 Games had prevailed, it would have effectively ruled Italy out of hosting the following Olympics, as the IOC tends to alternate continents when awarding sport's biggest event. "What happened in Buenos Aires makes me think that Italy can bid for the 2024 Olympics," Letta said. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said the capital was ready. "There are the right conditions for Rome to bid to host the Games because the city has all the necessary requirements," Marino said. "I'll request a meeting soon with Premier Letta and the president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malagò". However, three-time Olympic canoeing gold medalist Antonio Rossi, Italy's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Games in Beijing, believes Rome should not be the automatic choice. "I don't want to open a diatribe with Rome, but Milan has its credentials too," Rossi said. Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni has said he will ask Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia to stage a bid for Milan to be Italy's candidate for the 2024 Olympics, saying the site of Expo 2015 could be used for some events.

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