Olympics say goodbye to Asia after 4-year star-crossed run

The Olympics have said goodbye to Asia after a star-crossed run, and it’s unclear when they’ll be back after the continent hosted four of the last eight Games.

The earliest the Summer Games could return is 2036, and the favorite could be the world’s most populous country — not China, as you might expect, but India.

India’s population is expected to overtake China’s 1.4 billion in the next decade, and it is lobbying for the western city of Ahmedabad to be the host city for 2036, with events elsewhere, including New Delhi, the capital.

“India is in a race for hosting 2036,” Narinder Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Committee, told The Associated Press. He offered few other details.

In a show of support, the IOC has scheduled the annual meeting of its full membership for next year in the western Indian metropolis of Mumbai. It’s a signal the courting has begun.

Delivering the pitch: Indian IOC member Nita Ambani, who is married to Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of India’s multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries. The family fortune has been estimated at $100 billion.

As it did with China, the IOC can envision India as a new frontier that will yield deep-pocketed sponsors, television rights deals and generous government support.

Departing Asia means returning to familiar terrain: the Summer Games in Paris in 2024, the 2026 Winter Games in Milan-Cortina, and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Brisbane is also lined up for the 2032 Summer Olympics, a return to…

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