Here’s the Real Inside Story of How Paris Won the 2024 Olympics

Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via ZUMA

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present possibly the most ridiculous story ever written. This weekend the New York Times explained how Paris won the 2024 Olympics after repeated failures in recent years:

Paris Won the 2024 Olympics by Learning From Its Mistakes

Although the Olympic bidding process is notoriously opaque, Paris’s successful bid for the 2024 Olympics seems to have benefited from the hard-learned lessons of its past failures. Here are some of the things it did differently this time.

….“The main conclusion was that you had to put sports much more at the center of the bid”…. Emmanuel Macron, used his image as a young, new and popular president to push the bid into the homestretch…. “It’s important to show some unity to the I.O.C. members,” said Thierry Rey…. Bid leaders argued that their Games would be ecologically responsible, and that 95 percent of the sports venues were either already built or would be temporary…. And there was one more lesson learned by the French, according to Mr. Lee of Vero, and this one was perhaps the hardest. You must lobby, which he described as “the L word in France.”

Oh please. Hamburg, Budapest, and Rome withdrew after realizing that bidding for the Olympics was stupid and immensely costly. Los Angeles voluntarily agreed to host the 2028 games. Paris was the only city left bidding for the 2024 games. That’s why they won.

How is it possible to write more than a thousand words on this subject without mentioning that tiny little fact?

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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