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Bach praises “strong foundation” of Los Angeles 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has encouraged Los Angeles 2024 to build upon their “strong foundation” after concluding a two-day visit to the Olympic and Paralympic Games candidate city.

Bach’s visit came as the American city prepares to finalise and hand in the first part of their Candidature File to the IOC, which must be done by February 17.

Their submission is due to cover the Los Angeles vision, Games concept and strategy.

Prior to the deadline, Los Angeles 2024 were aiming to give the IOC President a greater understanding of the city’s commitment to staging the Games, with Bach meeting key officials such as Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Herb Wesson.

He again trumpeted his Agenda 2020 reforms, a strategic “roadmap” for the Olympic movement which covers areas such as reduced costs, legacy and equality with athletes always at the centre.

“You have done a great job in thinking how, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, you can link your great Olympic legacy with an even greater Olympic future,” Bach said after ending his visit in the two-time host.

“How you can build this future on the strong foundation you have.

“You are a strong candidate and it is a great race of four excellent cities, trying to embrace Olympic Agenda 2020 from very different angles.

“We now know wherever the Olympic Games take place in 2024 they will be great Games.”

Among the venues visited on the second day of the visit were the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where Bach was given a tour of the sport and accommodation facilities by the university’s chancellor Gene Block and vice-chancellor Steve Olsen.

UCLA was last week revealed as LA’s proposed site for the Athletes’ Village at the Games, while the University of Southern California (USC), which was chosen for the Media Village, was also toured.

Bach also had dinner with Los Angeles 2024’s leadership team, as well as local business and community leaders including Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger and LA84 Foundation President Renata Simril.

Olympic legends such as Steve Alford, Nadia Comăneci, Bart Conner, Allyson Felix and Carl Lewis also spoke with Bach during his visit, as well as Los Angeles 2024 director of athlete relations, Janet Evans.

“We are very grateful to President Bach for taking the time to come and visit Los Angeles,” said Casey Wasserman, Los Angeles 2024 chairman.

 “His visit was an excellent opportunity for LA 2024 to show him, in person, the world-class facilities and venues we propose using should we have the honour of hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“To a large extent, President Bach did not need to imagine what the Games would look like in 2024; he was able to see it today.

“Today, we were able to show President Bach that we will be able to deliver a fiscally responsible Games aligned with the sustainable principles of Olympic Agenda 2020.”

Bach visited rival bidding cities Budapest and Paris back in December, while he met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi last month to discuss Rome’s candidature for 2024.

A host is set to be selected at the 2017 IOC Session in Lima.

  • By Michael Pavitt
  • This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, www.insidethegames.biz


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