Sadiq Khan, the man who wants the Olympics back in London

An interesting coincidence of the calendar. For the second time in two years, London Mayor Sadiq Khan took advantage of early May to discuss the Olympics. For the second time, he clearly demonstrated his desire to bring the event back to his city. With a deadline: 2036 or 2040.

For the first time, in May 2021, Sadiq Khan announced that an Olympic candidacy would be one of his priorities if he was re-elected mayor of London. “Considering a bid to host the 2036 or 2040 Olympic and Paralympic Games would be the best demonstration of my goal to build a better future for the city after the pandemic.“, he explained to reporters. Sadiq Khan was then in the midst of an election campaign. His statement, of course, was taken seriously, but with the usual reservations in such a political context.

On Tuesday, May 10, the Mayor of London revived this topic. This time he spoke from New York, at an event in Times Square as part of an international tourism campaign:Let’s do London“, and the announcement of the return of Major League Baseball (MLB) to England from next year.

Sadiq Khan is no longer involved in the campaign. As such, his push to bring the Games back to London is no longer a campaign promise.

We have premises in London, so the cost will not be huge.he suggested from New York. And we could have the greenest Olympics in history.“.

Cost control, use of existing equipment, sustainability: Sadiq Khan has mastered the lessons of Agenda 2020 and its new version, 2020 + 5. In two sentences, he summed up the basics.

The mayor of London even admitted that he had already begun negotiations with the IOC. “Working on preliminary plans, discussing with the IOC“, he added. The Olympic body neither confirmed nor denied the exchange with the English capital. “At this point in the process, any stakeholder contact, regardless of city, will remain confidential.“, the spokesperson said cautiously.

The same strategy from the British Olympic Committee (BOA). The national authority assures that it is not yet participating in such a project. However, it must be at some point or another in the selection process.

The Mayor of London insists:We want sports to come to London, including baseball and American football. We have the FA Cup final on Saturday, Wimbledon is back… the Olympics could be back too.

Sadiq Khan has never made a secret of this: his Olympic project will not only be to build “better future“It will also have a historical dimension. By winning the bet in 2036 or 2040, London will become the first city to host the Summer Games four times, after 1908, 1948 and 2012.

For a political leader, such a mark in history would not be something anecdotal. But the file promises to be more complex than London’s mayor wants to suggest. “We have premises in London so the cost won’t be huge.” advanced Sadiq Khan on Tuesday 10 May in London. Not false. But it’s also not entirely accurate.

At least two of the most emblematic venues of the London 2012 Games, the track and field stadium and the aquatics centre, have been reconfigured since the meeting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their power is reduced. They probably need to be repaired.

First of all, the athlete village will no longer be available. Built specifically for the 2012 Games in east London, in an area with little urbanization, it has been converted into a residential area with almost 3,000 houses. The promoters of the London project will have to find an alternative, but without increasing costs and keeping the Mayor’s promise to offer the Games.”the greenest ever“. Not easy.