FILE - A jogger running on a canal path near the main Olympic Stadium in London. Photo: Sang Tan/AP
FILE - A jogger running on a canal path near the main Olympic Stadium in London. Photo: Sang Tan/AP

London mayor Sadiq Khan eyes new Olympic bid

By AFP Time of article published May 4, 2021

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LONDON – London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Tuesday he will try to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the UK capital if he is re-elected this week.

The Labour party politician said he would establish an exploratory committee for a bid to host the "most sustainable ever" games in 2036 or 2040.

London would be the first city to host four summer games in the modern Olympic era if a bid were successful.

Khan, 50, is running for a second term in mayoral elections on Thursday and has led the field in polling over his nearest rivals.

"Exploring a bid for the 2036 or 2040 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the ultimate demonstration of my plan to build a brighter future for London after the pandemic," Khan said.

"It would help fast-track much-needed green infrastructure projects, bringing with them long-term jobs and investment.

"My ambition is for London to host the most sustainable games ever, showcasing the Green New Deal for London with investment in low-carbon projects, action to clean up London's air and showcasing the city's status as the world's first national park city."

London last hosted the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, when current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was mayor.

Using the venues and facilities built for that event would contribute to the sustainability targets of a future bid, Khan added.

The 2012 games were perceived to have run smoothly thanks to efficient infrastructure, logistics and the punctual completion of new venues following a seven-year planning period.

The Olympic Park site has helped to regenerate the surrounding area of east London, formerly one of the British capital's most deprived neighbourhoods.

A 2012 poll for the Games' organising committee found 65 percent of respondents thought they improved London and the UK's global image.

Khan's four-year term as mayor of London was due to expire in 2020 but the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK forced local elections to be postponed by a year.

Khan became the first Muslim mayor of a European city when he was elected mayor of London in 2016 and is one of 20 candidates standing in this year's vote.


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