Paris celebrates end of 100-year Olympic wait - Europe News

Paris celebrates end of 100-year Olympic wait

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Heavy rains took the fizz out of Paris' Olympic celebrations.

The Eiffel Tower had its head in the clouds and a small and very wet crowd on the other side of the River Seine huddled under umbrellas in front of a big screen to watch the International Olympic Committee announce in Lima, Peru, on Wednesday that the French capital will host the games in 2024.

The award wasn't a surprise. Paris and Los Angeles had worked out a deal with the IOC in advance, for Paris to get 2024 and LA to get 2028.

Still, the Eiffel Tower glittered with sparkling lights in celebration after the IOC made the hosting rights official. Olympic rings were also unveiled and lit up on the Trocadero plaza opposite the world-famous tower.

French President Emmanuel Macron was among the first to offer congratulations to Paris, which will be hosting the games for the first time since 1924.

Speaking by television from the Caribbean, where he has been visiting French territories badly hit by Hurricane Irma, Macron said France will "prepare for these games with all of our energy."

He said the IOC decision was a recognition of France's "image and values" and of French "willingness to spread these values in today's world."

The award was extra-sweet for Paris after three previous failed bids — for the games of 1992, 2008 and 2012.

"It's enormous," said deputy Paris mayor Bruno Julliard. "After three failures we are finally bringing the games home."