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U.S. gauging interest in 2024 Olympic bid

Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, attends the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York November 30, 2010. REUTER
Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, attends the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York November 30, 2010. REUTER

(Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) sent letters to the mayors of 35 American cities on Tuesday to gauge their interest in bidding for the 2024 Summer Games.

Having mended fences with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following a bitter revenue-sharing dispute the United States appears ready to again make a run at hosting an Olympic Games after two stunning rejections.

New York, a losing finalist for the 2012 Summer Games, and Chicago, which made a shock first-round exit in voting for the 2016 Olympics, are among the 35 cities canvassed by the USOC.

The letter signed by USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun was sent to the mayors of America's 25 largest cities plus 10 others that have expressed interest in hosting a Games.

The USOC emphasized that reaching out to potential host cities does not guarantee the U.S. will bid for the 2024 Games, but rather is an initial step, in evaluating a potential bid.

Based on expected IOC deadlines, the USOC said it has a little over two years to decide whether to submit a bid.

"We would like to begin having discussions with interested cities about possible bid themes as well as the infrastructure, financial resources and other assets that are required to host the Games," wrote Blackmun.

"Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership."

Atlanta was the last U.S. city to host a Summer Games in 1996 while Salt Lake City staged the 2002 Winter Games.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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