IF re-elected the mayor for a second term this week, Sadiq Khan said he will bid to bring the Olympics and Paralympics to London.
London has already hosted the Games thrice in 1908, 1948 and 2012 – a record that Paris will match when it hosts the Olympics in 2024.
With a focus on sustainability, and provided he gets a second term as mayor, Khan has promised to set up a committee which would try to get the Games back to the city in either 2036 or 2040.
“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.
“My ambition is for London to host the most sustainable Games ever,” he said at an amateur boxing club in Earlsfield, south-west London, on Tuesday (4).
Khan wants to invoke the spirit of 2012 and said: “The spirit of 2012 showed London and Londoners at their best. It was a time that displayed the inclusive, diverse and welcoming heart of our city. As we emerge from Covid-19, we need to harbour this spirit and remind people what makes London the greatest city in the world. Bringing the Olympics back to London would do exactly that.”
The move has been backed by a leading business group and former Olympic medallists.
Richard Whitehead, who won gold in the T42 200m at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, said: “Bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to London would do just that, making the opportunity to compete at the top level in front of a home crowd a dream within reach for young Brits.”
Amir Khan, who won a boxing medal aged 17 at the 2004 Athens Games, said: “The Olympics helped to launch my career as a professional boxer, giving a working-class kid from Bolton the opportunities to compete in front of global audiences and fulfill his potential.”
He also added that he would “love to see another young British talent follow in my footsteps and go one better by winning gold on home turf”.
Khan wants to establish London as the “undisputed sporting capital” of the world, as in the past the city has successfully staged a number of NFL, MLB and NBA events. Now, with the backing of Surrey, the Labour mayor wants to add the Indian Premier League (IPL) to that list.
Khan hopes future IPL matches could be played at London grounds such as Lord’s and the Oval, the headquarters of county side Surrey.
“The IPL is a fantastic league but I’m desperate not just to see Kohli and others here when India come (to England) but to see the likes of (MS) Dhoni, (Rohit) Sharma and (Jasprit) Bumrah come here on a regular basis,” Khan had said.