International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has said it "is hard to imagine something better" as the joint award of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Paris and the 2028 event to Los Angeles was confirmed in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
The unique deal to confirm hosting rights for two upcoming editions of the Summer Games, which was backed in principle by IOC members in July, was unanimously approved by those 85 voters in attendance at the 131st IOC Session on Thursday. Paris and LA – the frontrunners and only remaining bidders in a 2024 race which had claimed the candidacies of Budapest, Rome, Hamburg and Boston due to a collapse in political support – had already settled on the terms of a tripartite agreement with the IOC over the summer.
Bach said: "Ensuring the stability of the Olympic Games for the athletes of the world for the next 11 years is something extraordinary."
The mayors of Paris and LA, who have both cited their cordial relationship as an important factor in securing a deal, also celebrated their confirmation as hosts.
“Today I am delighted to invite you to join the great family of Parisians, a family which belongs to the world,” said Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris. “With this team, I am very proud and moved to bring the Games back to Paris. At the heart of these Games, we will place young people, who represent our present, our hope and our pride.”
LA mayor Eric Garcetti said: "Bringing the Olympics back home to LA gives us the chance to imagine what our city will look like a decade from now.
"LA is a city where the Games are not a barrier to making progress; we know that they are an accelerating force to re-envisioning a better city and a better world in the days ahead as we welcome you back to the City of Angels.”
Both cities will be staging the Games for a third time, with Paris having previously held the Olympics in 1900 and 1924, and LA taking on hosting duties in 1932 and 1984.
Andrew Parsons, elected last week as IPC president, was among the first to add his best wishes.
“I am greatly excited at what Paris 2024 and LA 2028 can do in terms of growing the Paralympic Movement and would like to send my heartfelt congratulations to both cities,” said Parsons. “Both Paris and LA presented tremendous integrated bids and what I like about each host city is that they offer different opportunities for the Paralympic movement."
Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, said that he believed the next three summer events would "help bring positive change to the world", and that "the Games will leave tangible and intangible legacies behind for each host city". He also paid tribute to "the leadership of IOC President Bach in taking the Olympic movement forward in new and innovative ways".
Olympic partners and supporters of the bid teams also welcomed the announcement. Discovery and its Eurosport platform has now begun a comprehensive rights deal across a range of European territories until the end of the 2024 event, and Discovery Networks International president and chief executive JB Perrette said the organisation was delighted the Games are returning to the continent and know they’ll be a stunning spectacle for our fans".
Eurosport chief executive Peter Hutton added: "From a Eurosport point of view we are thrilled that the Games will be returning to Europe. With our central operations based in Paris, our team will be able to touch and feel the magic of the Olympic Games for themselves which only adds to the excitement.”
Meanwhile, French rail operator SNCF, a sponsor of the Paris bid, relayed the news of the vote to its passengers on its services on Wednesday.
The news comes after a week in which the IOC has been hit by the news that Arthur Nuzman, the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and of the Rio 2016 local organising committee, is under investigation by anti-corruption authorities.
Nuzman's home, and the Rio offices of the COB, were searched by police last week, with the 75-year-old reported to be suspected of facilitating a payment between Brazilian businessman Arthur Soares and Lamine Diack, the former president of world athletics' IAAF. Diack and his son Papa Massata Diack are at the centre of a French-led investigation into a scheme which may have involved the bribery of athletes, cover-ups of positive doping tests and a cash-for-votes racket around several major events - possibly including the Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 Olympics and other bid races.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Bach said: ""Actions have been committed by individuals and this is why we will be sanctioning as soon as we have evidence."