- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - The city of Budapest and the Hungarian Olympic Committee have officially announced their intention to bid for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games.

Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos and Zsolt Borkai, head of Hungary’s Olympic agency, made the declaration in a letter to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

“The City of Budapest and the Hungarian Olympic Committee wish to participate in the application and bidding process with the aim of selecting the host city” of the 2024 Olympics, said the letter published Wednesday.

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The officials said that Hungary was alone among the 10 most successful countries in the summer Olympics yet to host the event and also highlighted the IOC’s efforts to cut organizational costs with its “Olympic Agenda 2020” reforms.

“We also welcome that the IOC is orienting itself to a more economical and sustainable organization of the Olympic Games, by that breaking the monopoly of the largest and wealthiest countries” as hosts, Tarlos and Borkai said.

Until a few months ago, Tarlos opposed bidding for the Olympics but said he changed his mind because of the possibility of having to spend less on the event. Hungarian lawmakers, who adopted a resolution on Monday backing the bid, even asked the government to spend any extra budget revenues from the Olympics on improving Hungary’s health services.

Budapest joins Boston, Paris, Rome and Hamburg as the officially declared candidates. The deadline to submit bids is Sept. 15.

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