Garcetti’s Olympic Talks “Very Productive”
LOS ANGELES–Mayor Eric Garcetti and other members of an American delegation made an initial pitch to the International Olympic Committee today during a “very productive” round of talks in Switzerland presenting Los Angeles as the U.S. bidder to host the 2024 Summer Games.
The American delegation consisted of Garcetti, U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman and International Olympic Committee member Larry Probst, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman. They met in Lausanne with IOC President Thomas Bach to discuss Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“It was an honor to meet with President Bach to discuss our initial bid,” Garcetti said in a statement released by LA 2024. “The Olympics are part of LA’s DNA–and we appreciate the opportunity to share our Olympic passion with the IOC and strengthen a movement that seeks to unite the world in friendship and peace through sport.”
Wasserman, whose group is spearheading the Los Angeles campaign, was upbeat about today’s talks. “We had a very productive meeting today with IOC President Bach,” he said. “As this will be the first full Olympic bid campaign conducted under the new Agenda 2020 guidelines, we look forward to showing how a Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games can produce tremendous benefits for our city, leave a fully sustainable legacy for our residents and elevate the Olympic Movement around the world.”
Probst added that the Los Angeles bid enjoys the full support of the USOC , plus “our athletes, national, state and regional leaders–and the Los
Angeles City Council and residents.”
President Barack Obama is enthusiastic and strongly supportive of Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympics, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday as the L.A. delegation headed to Lausanne.
“The city of Los Angeles knows what an undertaking hosting these games would be,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Dillingham, Alaska. “They’ve got substantial infrastructure already in place. And let’s face it, there’s a lot that the city of Los Angeles can uniquely deliver to hosting a successful and truly memorable Olympic Games, featuring the best athletes in the world. This is a longer process that won’t be determined until sometime in 2017, but obviously the president and the first lady are very enthusiastic and strongly supportive of the bid put forward by the city of Los Angeles.”
Obama attended the 2009 International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the site of the 2016 Olympics was decided. Despite Obama’s presence, his adopted hometown of Chicago finished last in voting in the first round and was eliminated from further consideration. Rio de Janeiro was selected as the site of the 2016 Games.
The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday supporting Los Angeles’ bid.
“Having the Olympics here would be great for our students, for Los Angeles and for the USA,” board President Scott Svonkin said. “We all came together in 1984 when Los Angeles last hosted the Olympics. It turned out to be the best Olympics of this era, and perhaps any era, proving that this is a world-class city.”
The U.S. Olympic Committee selected Los Angeles Tuesday as the nation’s candidate to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, about an hour after the City Council voted 15-0 to back the bid.
Boston was the USOC’s initial choice as the U.S. candidate but backed out over concerns about financial liability. Los Angeles failed in both of its most recent previous attempts to be the U.S. candidate.