An Opportunity to Serve
By Casey Wasserman, LA 2024 Chairman
In recent years, several cities have withdrawn from bidding for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They walked away due to a variety of reasons, but mostly due to cost and legacy concerns, and the resulting devastating impact on public support. That’s why the IOC created its Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which have guided us in the creation and planning of our 2024 bid.
In my city and country, there is an unshakeable public confidence for the Games. Even after Boston 2024 withdrew, Los Angeles’ faith in the Olympic Movement encouraged us to step forward with our 10th Olympic bid — a record. 88% of Angelenos support our bid in a city where almost 40% of the population was born outside the US. That’s called unity, not diversity — just like the Olympic Movement itself.
At the meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees in November of last year, our Mayor Eric Garcetti said something profound for a bid. He said, “we believe this campaign isn’t just about the Games in our city in 2024 … it’s about ensuring that the Games are sustainable and relevant in every year beyond 2024.”
To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024. Even when the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn’t say it’s “LA first” or it’s “now or never” for LA: that sounds like an ultimatum. We could have used that strategy, but we didn’t because we thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think. We’re better partners than that. It has always been our contention that LA 2024 had to make as much sense for the Olympic Movement as it did for the people of LA. And we’ve stuck to that premise.
Our bid reflects a unified, diverse and welcoming city, and we want to make it clear to the IOC and the global sports community that LA’s primary focus isn’t on ourselves; instead, we are focused on the Olympic Movement and the world. For some, that may be a surprising statement for an American bid; but, it shouldn’t be because America’s support for the Games has never wavered — ever.
We are confident in our plan and in our Games legacy for the people of LA because we don’t have to build any new permanent venues — that’s the new definition of “Olympic sustainability.” And during its recent trip to Los Angeles, the IOC’s Evaluation Commission resolutely confirmed the technical excellence of LA’s plan for the 2024 Games. In fact, they called it “mind blowing.” We are ready to share it now with the world in the service of the Olympic Movement.
We don’t believe in ultimatums — we believe in partnership; that’s why we are willing to look beyond ourselves and ask the question “how can LA best serve the long-term needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games?”
Follow the Sun has always been an invitation to the future. LA 2024 offers the Movement a “no surprises” plan that can help redefine sustainability for the Games, ensure continued financial stability for the Olympic Movement and create new opportunities to engage with young people around the world. For these reasons and many more, Follow the Sun is an opportunity, for everyone.