Los Angeles today effectively conceded the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to its only rival Paris.
In a statement headlined “An Opportunity to Serve”, bid leader Casey Wasserman claimed that their bid has never been “only about LA or 2024.”
It seemed to open up publicly for the first time the prospect of them accepting the opportunity to stage the Olympic Games in 2028.
Wasserman claimed they are more interested in how best they can serve the “long-term needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
It appeared to leave the way clear for Paris to be awarded the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The announcement was issued just two days before a key meeting here at which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board is set to approve proposals to award both the 2024 and 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.
A decision is due to be made officially at the IOC Session in Lima on September 13.
Paris had claimed that they would not be able to host the Olympics in 2028 because after that they will lose the land in Saint Denis where the proposed Athletes’ Village is due to be built.
“To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024,” Wasserman wrote in his statement.
“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.”
Los Angeles later claimed that Wasserman’s statement did not mean they had given up their bid for 2024.
“insidethegames’ interpretation of Casey’s statement is incorrect,” a spokesman told us.
“LA is the ideal host city for 2024 and partner for the Olympic Movement.
“LA is not conceding anything in the race for the 2024 Games.”
Wasserman claimed that Los Angeles’ bid is different from other abandoned attempts to land the Olympics launched in Western countries in recent years.
“In my city and country, there is an unshakable public confidence for the Games,” he said.
“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 per cent of Angelenos support our bid in a city where almost 40 per cent of the population was born outside the US.
“That’s called unity, not diversity – just like the Olympic Movement itself.”
Last week Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti revealed they would consider accepting the 2028 rather than the 2024 edition in return for the IOC funding youth sports programs in the city.
Paris is now expected to host the 2024 edition on the 100th anniversary of the last time it hosted sport’s number one event in 1924.
it would make them the second city after London to host the Olympics three times having also staged it in 1900.
If Los Angeles do host the Games in 2028, then it would also be their third time.
They previously staged them in 1932 and 1984.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.