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Rome mayor wants 2024 Olympic medal ceremonies in Colosseum

Rome Colosseum

A man belonging to historical groups dressed as a centurion marches along the Colosseum to mark the anniversary of the legendary foundation of the eternal city in 753 BC, on April 19, 2015 in Rome. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

If Rome hosts the 2024 Olympics, the medal ceremonies could be held at the Colosseum, its mayor said Friday.

“We want to rebuild the arena of the Colosseum so that the athletes can be lifted in like the gladiators in the Roman times,” Rome mayor Ignazio Marino said, according to The Associated Press.

Rome 2024 bid officials and Italian president Sergio Mattarella met with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Friday.

Bach liked the idea of holding medal ceremonies at the Colosseum but joked “as long as the lions don’t then arrive,” according to the AP.

When Rome announced its bid in December, venues were proposed in Florence, Naples and Sardinia.

Italian media suggested the Vatican could host events, according to the AP, since the IOC now allows competitions held outside a host nation in exceptional circumstances. Archery in St. Peter’s Square was talked about.

On Friday, the AP reported the Circus Maximus was among the potential sports venues.

Rome hosted the 1960 Olympics, where barefoot Ethiopian Abeba Bikila won the marathon with the finish around the Arch of Constantine, which is near the Colosseum.

The 2024 Olympic host city will be chosen via an IOC members vote in 2017. Rome is joined in the race by Boston and Hamburg, so far. Paris has also taken steps to be among the bidders, 100 years after it last hosted the Olympics.

U.S. Olympic leaders will meet with the IOC in Switzerland next week after Boston 2024 changed its bid leadership this week, according to the AP.

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