Since the flame went out at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics—one of the most successful Games in history—LA has ridden a wave of development, creativity and innovation that has changed it into a new city. We now have at our disposal such an incredible array of new venues, accommodations and transport options, that building a plan for an Olympics nine years from now is a matter of making the best choices; not just the best choices for the 17 days of the Games, but the best choices for the next generation of Angelenos. In fact, 85% of the venues in our proposed plan either exist or are being built regardless of the Games, and 80% of those are different from the venues used in 1984.
With today’s 15-0 vote of the City Council, Los Angeles is moving forward as the United States candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. And we will be presenting a completely new story to the worldwide Olympic Family. This is the story of the new Los Angeles and its extraordinary ability to align with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which seek to deliver long-term benefits, not burdens, to host cities.
But as we look to start this journey, our motivations are not only about the exciting legacy a third-Olympic Games will deliver to LA, but about LA’s ability to serve and strengthen the Olympic Movement while inspiring our nation to new levels of commitment to the Olympic Ideal. We want to make sure our community is committed to partnering with the Olympic Movement in its unceasing quest to build a better world through sport.
Why? Because we believe the Olympic Movement holds more promise and hope for the future of humanity, and our city, than anything else we could invest our energies in.
In a world often divided by conflict, sport can be—and frequently is—a path away from ideological argument. In that regard, sport is one of the few international tools capable of reaching young people with a message of hope rooted in personal aspirations and identity development.
Every day tens of thousands of kids around the world—girls and boys—are offered a chance to choose sport. And the Olympic Movement is at the forefront of the effort to ensure that choice is there for them to make.
Working through more than 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) engaged in developing sport at the grassroots level, the Olympic Movement invests 90% of its $8 billion in quadrennial revenues into its NOCs and the International Federations (IFs) that cultivate sport everywhere.
Through those investments, the Olympic Movement does a world of good for all of us. And it is propelled primarily by the funds that flow from the marketing and broadcast rights to each edition of the Olympic Games. In fact, 100% of the funds that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) distributes around the world through Olympic Solidarity—which now average $3.25 million a day, more than $1 billion a year—flow directly from those rights.
When a city like ours engages in bidding for the Olympic Games, it is contributing directly to the strength of global sport, and when it wins the right to host the Games, it helps to refuel the drive to ensure that youth everywhere have a chance to choose sport.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrates after the city council vote on Tuesday. (Getty Images)
As the symbolic summit of global sport, the Olympic Games are also a platform of human dreams and aspirations that cross all cultures and bridge every barrier that divides us. Through the popularity and visibility of the Olympic Games—each edition now drawing 3.5 billion people together in a shared human experience—the Olympics help us celebrate the things we have in common. Almost every Olympic and Paralympic athlete has a family and friends that support him or her. That’s a culture of sport, and human excellence, worth nurturing.
And in a city where you can see the world on our streets, in Los Angeles every athlete will have a home field advantage. Forty percent of Angelenos are foreign born and in our region, there are over 220 languages and dialects spoken.
As America’s candidate for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we wanted to make it clear from the beginning that our highest goals and greatest aspirations reached far beyond the borders of our city.
In the annals of modern Olympic history, LA already occupies a highly honored place. The City has hosted the Games twice and has been a game changer in the Olympic Movement.
In 1932, we had the first fully-contained Olympic Village and showed the tenacity to host the games in the midst of the Great Depression. And through the commercial breakthroughs of 1984, we helped strengthen and sustain the Olympic Movement. But we want another chance to serve this great Movement—at another turning point.
Given the new venues and facilities we have developed since 1984, we are confident that LA can host the Games with a surplus once again. We commit to you that we, will lead a transparent, open, equitable and fair bid that creates a legacy that benefits—not burdens—all of our residents for generations to come.
The Olympics are part of LA’s DNA—and we want the opportunity once again to share our Olympic passion with the world and strengthen a Movement that seeks to unite all humanity in friendship and peace through sport.
Written by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA 2024 bid leader Casey Wasserman
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