POSTED: September 4th 2015

Olympics: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promises sustainable yet sexy Games for 2024

The LA 2024 bid team meets the IOC at the headquarters in Lausanne / LA 2024
The LA 2024 bid team meets the IOC at the headquarters in Lausanne / LA 2024

One word speaks volumes / Bigstock
One word speaks volumes / Bigstock

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Los Angeles 2024 is lightning fast out of the starting gate and Mayor Eric Garcetti cut to the chase and coined the phrase "not only is LA's plan sustainable but sexy too" raising the expectations on the highly anticipated American Olympic bid.  Expect sexy and if any city can deliver Los Angeles has the world class star power to amaze.

Wasting no time, the Los Angeles 2024 bid was launched in California on Tuesday and by Thursday morning [Lausanne time] a top level team had already checked in with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach for a 30 minute meet and greet to introduce the new bid leaders. The deadline for 2024 bid submissions is September 15th  in less than two weeks.   

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, United States Olympic Committee Chairman and International Olympic Committee member Larry Probst, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman met with President Bach then spent time with an elite level IOC team.

Bid Chairman, Wasserman, explained, "When this came back around to us we knew we had to engage the business and city leaders quickly so that we could get our bid funded and we could get right to the work of competing for the next two  years. So we set a budget and raised that budget in 7 days of US$35 million dollars. We are funded and ready to go and looking forward to the next 2 years."

Probst said, "The discussions this morning were really at a very high level. Mayor Garcetti and I were able to meet with President Bach and it was a great opportunity for them to get to know one another. Then we moved to a larger group that included [Olympic Games Executive Director] Christophe Dubi, [Associate Director Olympic Games and Head of Bid City Relations] Jacqueline Barrett and [IOC Director General] Christophe De Kepper and again discussions were kept at a pretty high level. Obviously they offered some words of wisdom and some good advice to us but no specific detail in regard to venue plans."

Mayor Garcetti said, "I think it was important for us to show that Los Angeles has at the beginning of this process, thought through a bid and brought together some of the most creative thinkers to sketch out a plan that we believe of course will evolve. But we won't be presenting anything revolutionary from this point on more evolutionary in terms of a bid. But more importantly we know that any campaign is about relationships and we wanted to reestablish Los Angeles' strong relationship with the Olympic Movement and have that done face to face.

"And because we have had to do in the past few weeks what essentially is a year of work and it was important for us to really solidify that this was something that Los Angeles really wanted to do. And that the United States wants to do and I think we were able to achieve that in a face to face meeting in a way that we couldn't have done over the phone.

"The IOC reiterated that the United States should be bidding for the 2024 Games and he was pleased with Los Angeles," he added.

 But Los Angeles was not the first choice for the American bid, now however the USOC has the challenge of convincing IOC Members that it is the best bet after Boston pulled out of the high profile race.  The competition is steep with world level destinations such as Paris, Rome, Budapest, Hamburg and more are expected to officially step to the plate bidding for the 2024 Games by the deadline.

Scott Blackmun, "LA has such a strong legacy but this is a new LA. Each IOC member is going to have to compare Los Angeles to the other great cities that are throwing their hats in the ring here and I think that in time this is whole question of Boston will be forgotten. We very much look forward to our partnership with LA which is very, very strong and admittedly this was not a direct route that we took to getting here but we could not be more pleased with the level of partnership, level of enthusiasm, the experience and in all candor, it is wonderful to be in a place where we are not asking questions "can they do it?" we are asking the question "how are they going to be able to change things?" or "what  can we create that is new?". So it is a very exciting possibility for us and we are incredibly enthusiastic."

Probst "I would just add to that the fact that we are absolutely convinced that Los Angeles can deliver cost effective Games that align with the IOC's pillars of sustainability, legacy and most importantly the athlete experience. We are really thrilled to be working with Mayor Garcetti and Casey Wasserman and their team."

White House Approves

Unsolicited, from Air Force One Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wrote about the Obama's reaction "the President is enthusiastic about the US Olympic committee announcement that the City of Los Angeles will be the US bid for the 2024 Olympic Games."

"The City of Los Angeles has twice hosted the summer Olympic Games and we are enthusiastic about the prospect of them hosting those Games again."

"Both the President and the First Lady are very enthusiastic and very supportive of the bid."

Garcetti was pleased, "Certainly I want to thank the President and the first Lady's encouraging words. Those were not ones that we reached out and solicited, they were ones that were made spontaneously by the President and the First Lady. I think it is time to bring the Olympics back home and we are proud that it is Los Angeles that has the honor to compete to do that. But the United States loves the Olympics and the Olympics love the United States and in the past any rocky path is long behind us.  

"I think the warmth that we received by the IOC and the warmth that we felt for the IOC shows that we have the opening of a new relationship and hopefully it will be fruitful a couple of years from now."

Expect Star Power

Los Angeles is known for its huge entertainment industry and can tap into a wealth of world class Olympians, musicians and actors that call the City of Angels home.  

Garcetti added, "In terms of the celebs, absolutely one of our pitches is that Los Angeles communicates with the world every single day. Whether it is California and LA which is part of the tech companies that are part of the social media revolution, or whether it is movie stars and TV stars, everybody knows us. The nice thing about some of those stars is that they are international as well. 

"So without naming names yet, we certainly had a lot of people even when the USOC came out to LA, we had super people involved who have connections back to other countries as well. Because they or their parents came from there as well and we certainly want to showcase LA's diversity, our star power and that this is not just going to be a sustainable Games, but a sexy Games too." 

President Bach may have gotten way more than he bargained for with the American bid.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Los Angeles 2024

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