Los Angeles 2024 has released the second episode of its “Legends of LA” video series, featuring two-time Olympic gold medal-winning basketball player Kobe Bryant.
In the video, Bryant describes his experience of competing at Downtown LA’s Staples Center, which forms part of the downtown sports park unveiled by Los Angeles 2024 in its bid plan for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in seven years’ time.
The Center is home to four professional sports franchises, including the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers, who Bryant represented for his entire 20-year playing career from 1996 to 2016, and Los Angeles Clippers.
National Hockey League (NHL) side Los Angeles Kings and the Women’s NBA’s Los Angeles Sparks also play their matches at the venue, which hosts more than 250 events each year – ranging from professional sports, live music, family shows, boxing and special events – and over four million guests annually with events.
Los Angeles 2024 claims the venue’s reputation for world-class amenities and guest experience is a reflection of the Bidding Committee’s low-risk approach of using existing venues that host state-of-the-art events on a regular basis.
Bryant, who won Olympic gold with the United States at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, highlights the Center’s ability to inspire athletes, and points to Los Angeles’ “versatility” and “diversity” as features that would make the city the most welcoming host for the 2024 Games.
“I think the building itself kind of gives this stage-like feel to it – it’s as if you’re performing,” he says in the video.
“It’s much, much different than other venues that I’ve played in.
“Other venues feel just like a basketball game.
“[The Staples Center] doesn’t feel just like a basketball game – here it feels like you’re on Broadway, performing.”
Commenting on the Los Angeles 2024 bid, Bryant said: “Imagine everything converging into one place.
“What I love about LA so much is that it can be anything you want it to be.
“The versatility is amazing.
“The diversity here of the people is amazing.
“I just don’t think there’s any better place in the world to be.”
Los Angeles 2024 claims the “Legends of LA” video series is the latest reflection of its commitment to connect the Olympic and Paralympic Movements with the next generation by harnessing the power of social media.
The first video in the series featured Olympic champion and Los Angeles 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission member Carl Lewis reliving his memories of the 1984 Games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Los Angeles 2024 has also applauded Discover Los Angeles’ new film that celebrates Angelenos’ “inclusive spirit, diversity, creativity and optimism”.
The minute-and-a-half film “Paper Planes” is part of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s global initiative promoting the city as a tourism destination.
Last year, Los Angeles welcomed 47.3 million visitors in a sixth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism.
The film uses the visual metaphor of paper planes in patterns representing countries around the world “flying” into Los Angeles.
Set to the soundtrack of Los Angeles-based recording artist Father John Misty’s song, “Real Love Baby”, the film takes viewers on a journey through the streets and shores of Los Angeles.
The film features cameos of famed street art by Shepard Fairey and singer Madonna’s choreographer Megan Lawson.
Dancer Jo’Artis Ratti and Layla Shaikley, creator of the Muslim hipsters #mipsterz trend, can also be seen.
Half of the cast for the video are Angelenos who are said to have been plucked off the streets of Los Angeles in real time.
“Diversity and inclusivity have always been cornerstones of Los Angeles culture, but there has never been a more crucial time to reinforce these points,” Discover Los Angeles President and chief executive Ernest Wooden Jr said.
“As one of the planet’s most diverse metro areas with residents hailing from 140 countries who speak more than 224 different languages, Los Angeles is uniquely poised to launch such a campaign.”
Los Angeles 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman added: “Discover LA’s new film shows why the City of Angels has broken tourism records for six straight years: in LA, you can see the world on our streets, with 18 million diverse Angelenos ready to warmly welcome all visitors.
“With 88 percent of Angelenos supporting LA 2024, LA is an oasis of Olympic optimism, ready to inspire the next generation and help demonstrate the Games’ unique power to unite diverse communities in a celebration of peace through sport.”
Los Angeles is bidding to host the Olympics for the third time having also staged the Games in 1932, as well as 1984.
It faces competition from Paris with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to make a decision at its Session in Lima on September 13.
However, there is increasing speculation that the IOC may award the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time.
However, both candidates have stressed that they are only interested in the earlier edition.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.