UK Sport and the Mayor of London have both given their backing to a potential bid to bring the Olympics back to the British capital as soon as 2036.
If successful, the bid would see the Olympics returning to London just six cycles after it last took place there in 2012, a Games that was widely celebrated in the UK and beyond.
In an interview given to London-based daily The Evening Standard, UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl said: “We’ve got some great facilities and it would be great to see it done again. It’s early days but there’s no reason why we can’t bid. I would say if you look at where the Games have been held over recent cycles and if you were looking at where a European location would best next fit, it would be great if it was 2032, but I would have thought 2036 is more likely.”
Given that London and Paris would have hosted the two most recent European Olympics Games by 2036, the IOC would be under some pressure to choose a host in a different part of Europe. However, given the increasing pressures and costs on hosts, London’s existing infrastructure and ability to host the Games at a relatively low cost and with low impact on the city may be in its favour.
The bid is part of a wider ambition on behalf of UK Sport to take Team GB to the top of the Olympic medal table. In Rio in 2016, the UK finished second behind the US, one better than its third-placed finish in London. UK Sport is reportedly set to receive up to £1bn in government funding for the 2020-24 Olympic cycle, almost double the £550m it has been given for the cycle ahead of the Tokyo Games next year.