Los Angeles 2024 has announced the appointment of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member Anita DeFrantz as their senior advisor for legacy.
The American will take up the voluntary post to help assess how the 2024 Olympic and Paralympics could best serve the city’s residents after the Games.
Having stepped down at the end of last year from her role as the President of the LA84 Foundation, the non-profit organisation created to manage the profits created the last time Los Angeles staged the Olympics, 32 years ago, DeFrantz is seen potential key voice in how the Games could maximise the legacy.
The 63-year-old was a vice-president of Los Angeles 1984 and is due to be honoured tonight by the city’s Mayor Eric Garcetti and during a reception celebrating her leadership LA84 Foundation.
“In my 28 years as president of the LA84 Foundation, we served youth through sports and enhanced the knowledge of sport in society,” said DeFrantz, who rowed in the women’s eight that won an Olympic bronze medal at Montreal 1976.
“From our operation of the largest sports research library in North America to our recent unveiling of the first phase of a major renovation to the city’s largest soccer facility, the 26-acre Ferraro Fields soccer complex at Griffith Park, the LA84 Foundation’s work is living proof of the type of Olympic legacy that is possible for a city.
“I am excited to have the chance to build a new Olympic legacy for Los Angeles with the Los Angeles 2024.”
Under her leadership the LA84 Foundation, which received 40 per cent of the 1984 Games’ profits, has invested over $225 million (£157 million/€206 million) to support more than 2,000 youth sports organisations.
The success of the foundation, which announced grants of totalling $771,758 (£537,093/$704,898) to 30 athletic programmes in South California, is seen as potentially a key factor in Los Angeles’ bid to bring the Olympics back to the city.
Los Angeles 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman admitted he was proud to welcome DeFrantz to their team.
“Thanks to Anita’s leadership, the Los Angeles 1984 Games set a new standard for putting Olympic Legacy into action, and our team will benefit tremendously from her expertise and years of experience serving our city and the Olympic Movement,” he said.
“Her dedication to the values of the Olympic Movement have and will continue to serve as an inspiration to us all as we work to bring the Games back to the United States for the first time in 28 years.
“The IOC’s visionary Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations make clear that the Olympic Games need to provide athletes with the optimal Games experience while leaving a long-term legacy that benefits a city.
“Given these recommendations, we are convinced that Los Angeles could be the perfect partner for the Olympic Movement at this time.”
DeFrantz’s appointment comes days after Los Angeles announced they would use the University of California as the site for their Athletes’ Village, after opting against constructing a brand-new facility on 125 acres of land at the LA Transportation Center.
The city are hoping their fend off competition from their European rivals – Budapest, Paris and Rome – for the right to stage the Games.
A host is set to be selected at the 2017 IOC Session in Lima.
- By Michael Pavitt
- Republished with permission of insidethegames.biz