Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LA 2024 Olympics contingent happy after IOC presentation as decision on 2024, 2028 award looms

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman smiled and high-fived as they sat down.

Following the bid’s presentation to the International Olympic Committee at the SwissTech Convention Center on Tuesday, it was an appropriate celebration. By all accounts, LA 2024’s 45-minute presentation went well, and bid officials fielded about eight questions in a 30-minute session after it.

“We had a lot of really positive comments in the question and answer portion,” said Angela Ruggiero, chief strategy officer for LA 2024 and an IOC member. “I think people recognize what Los Angeles and the U.S. contribute, really building off the legacy of ’84.”

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Los Angeles presented first, followed by Paris, in the morning session. The IOC will reconvene Tuesday afternoon to vote on a recommendation from the executive board to award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to the two cities.

The decision was the elephant in the room as both bids highlighted their presentations, and it was one the Los Angeles team was asked about by an IOC member.

Garcetti said Los Angeles supports a dual award but, for now, is bidding just for 2024. It would adjust if the rules change later Tuesday.

“LA is ready to throw these Olympics in two months, if we were asked, or two decades if it came to that,” he said. “LA is ready because the infrastructure, the love and the vision to make sure it’s something that serves this movement and serves the people of our city.”

Los Angeles shared that vision through four videos included in its presentation. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix and four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson helped present the bid to the IOC members.

“It was really an honor for me today to be able to speak to IOC and to be able to share and tell them that we believe in the Olympic movement, we are ready and especially that we believe the power of sport can change the world,” said Felix.

The presentation is the latest, and one of the most important steps, in a two-year bid process. During a normal bid cycle, it would be a critical final meeting before the IOC selects one city.

But with the membership set to decide on a dual award, the presentation is likely to solidify the desire to make winners out of both bids rather than selecting just one.

With the decision looming, Los Angeles officials felt confident in the bid and what they showed the IOC.

“This is our third bid in the last 12 years, and not only is it the most remarkable U.S. bid that we’ve ever put forward … but we believe it’s the bid that will provide the maximum benefit to the Olympic and Paralympic movements at this important time,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.

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