Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid is official
Los Angeles is bidding for the 2024 Olympics.
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in nearby Santa Monica, one hour after the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in favor of the bid and two weeks before the International Olympic Committee deadline for 2024 Olympic bid submissions.
Los Angeles previously hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, but Blackmun called the city’s quest for a third Olympics the ushering in of “a new Olympic era.”
“L.A. has the proven experience in hosting the Games, and knows how to deliver world-class events for athletes and an extraordinary experience for fans,” Blackmun said in a press release. “Coupled with the city’s culture of creativity and innovation, we are confident L.A. can deliver an outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.”
Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome previously announced bids. IOC members will vote to choose the 2024 host city in 2017.
On Aug. 12, USOC leaders said they hoped to wrap up a Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid by the end of August, a replacement bid two weeks after the Boston 2024 bid was dropped.
“We did not take the most direct route to get here today,” Blackmun said, citing “challenging circumstances.”
Los Angeles 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman added, “What should have taken nine months we got done in two weeks.”
L.A. City Council member Mitch O’Farrell compared what lies ahead for a potential Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid to a marathon.
“We are the tortoise, and perhaps the other cities [Hamburg, Paris and Rome] are the hare,” O’Farrell said. “We are in a pretty good place entering into this marathon.”
Los Angeles was one of four finalists last year, with Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the U.S. bid. Boston was chosen Jan. 8.
Last week, Los Angeles officials published a bid book with details of the 2024 plan, including venues, renderings and a logo. L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti called the plan prudent, responsible, fully achievable and completely sustainable.
“This city is the world’s greatest stage,” Garcetti said at the Santa Monica press conference, surrounded by Olympic champions such as swimmer Janet Evans, diver Greg Louganis, decathlete Bryan Clay, gymnast Peter Vidmar, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and sprinter Carmelita Jeter, plus 2000 Olympic baseball champion manager Tommy Lasorda. “This is the greatest sporting city on the face of the Earth.”
The Los Angeles bid proposes 2024 Olympic dates of July 19 through Aug. 4, the same dates as the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and of the failed Boston 2024 Olympic bid. The Paralympics would be Aug. 14-27.
Los Angeles will try to join London as the only cities to host an Olympics three times. Paris is also vying for its third Olympics, 100 years after it last hosted the Games.
“The Olympics are in our DNA,” Garcetti said.
The U.S. is in the midst of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between Los Angeles 1932 and the Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Games.
It last hosted a Winter Games in 2002 (Salt Lake City) and a Summer Games in 1996 (Atlanta).