LA and Paris 'as good as it gets' for Olympic Games
Los Angeles and Paris are "as it good as it gets" when it comes to prospective Olympic host cities, according to the man charged with evaluating the two bids.
The two cities are vying for the right to put on the 2024 Games and it remains a strong possibility that the losing bid will be offered the chance to stage the showpiece four years later.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday released the report by the Evaluation Commission on the "outstanding" bids, which concluded that there was "very little to separate the two projects".
Both propose using a record number of existing and temporary venues, in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 initiative, and 2024 Evaluation Commission chair Patrick Baumann believes the IOC is in a "win-win situation".
"It truly is a tale of two great Olympic cities," said Baumann. "The two projects are different in nature, but each city presents a proposal which is genuinely authentic and reflects the best of what each has to offer.
"The Evaluation Commission firmly believes that both Los Angeles and Paris are more than capable of hosting outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their candidatures have put the Olympic Movement in a win-win situation, with very little to separate the two projects.
"In other words, we have two projects which are great for the respective cities and two cities which are great for the Olympic Games.
"Of course, Los Angeles and Paris differ in many ways, and these differences have shaped their plans and goals for hosting the Olympic Games, making their candidatures unique to each city.
"And this is precisely the outcome envisaged by Olympic Agenda 2020.
"Which leads us to the essential takeaway from our evaluation. We have two very different cities with two great proposals that truly fit their own unique circumstances, promising legacies that will benefit the local populations and the Olympic Movement long into the future.
"Los Angeles is one of the most entertaining sports and leisure destinations on the planet; Paris has a history second to none. On any given day, people around the globe enjoy Hollywood offerings of great storytelling and showcasing technology, while at the same time they dream of visiting Paris, one of the world's most dazzling tourist destinations.
"With the support, enthusiasm and passion of their citizens and athletes, Los Angeles and Paris have presented the best of their cities, and their best is as good as it can possibly get for the Olympic Games."
The French capital last hosted the Games in 1924, while LA had the honour most recently in 1984.