POSTED: March 9th 2016

Olympics: Los Angeles 2024 adds boost to their bid with stellar line up of star athletes

The LA 2024 launch of the Athletes Commission took place at the iconic Beverly Hilton hotel © LA 2024
The LA 2024 launch of the Athletes Commission took place at the iconic Beverly Hilton hotel © LA 2024

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Los Angeles bid to host the 2024 summer Games today received the support of 53 athletes that will serve on LA 2024's Athletes' Advisory Commission (AAC) and help create "the most personalized experience ever for Olympians and Paralympians" for the American bid.

Among them they hold 216 Olympic and Paralympic medals and they will help create a personalized experience for the athletes set to compete in 2024 should Los Angeles win the nod from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Anita DeFrantz, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Angela Ruggiero, Michael Johnson, Venus Williams, Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Carl Lewis, Michael Phelps, Greg Louganis, Michelle Kwan, Landon Donovan, and Kerri Walsh Jennings are some of the names on the 53 strong roster.

The athletes will give input on the LA 2024 Games concept and venues and also promote the bid at town halls across the country to capitalize on the extensive network of more than 10,000 Olympian and Paralympian alumni across all 50 states.

LA 2024 Director of Athlete Relations and Vice Chair Janet Evans commented, "As a four-time Olympian who understands that athletes are the Olympic and Paralympic Games' most important stakeholders, I joined the LA 2024 team to help guarantee that athletes have a strong voice in the development and planning of the Games Concept. I can say with the utmost confidence that the group we're presenting here today will be front and center as we create the most personalized experience ever for Olympians and Paralympians."

"The LA 2024 AAC has a real and vital role to play in our bid. We provide input to all areas of the Games Concept, and we provide insight that only Olympians and Paralympians can. I am extremely honored to be here today with all of these great champions, and I know that together, we can bring the Games back to LA in 2024."

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti added, "The City of Angels is home to over 1,000 Olympians and Paralympians who choose to call LA home because our city embodies Olympic and Paralympic spirit. Not only are we fortunate to have world-class infrastructure and idyllic weather conditions, LA has a long and proven commitment to sport and to healthy living for all. I want to offer my personal thanks to the truly astonishing men and women that make up LA 2024's AAC, for giving their time, their experience and their passion to our bid so that we can bring the Summer Games back to US soil for the first time in 28 years."

IOC Member and ice hockey champion, Angela Ruggiero, noted, "I am proud to be on team LA 2024, and I look forward to helping share the Olympic and Paralympic values with my hometown, our great nation and the world. Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms place athletes at the heart of the Games by enhancing and improving their Olympic and Paralympic Games experience, and the LA 2024 Games Concept is tailor made for Olympic Agenda 2020. From our Olympic Village on the spectacular UCLA campus, to our ideal Southern California weather, an LA 2024 Games will offer Olympians and Paralympians the ideal, personalized Games experience. It's truly remarkable that all this has been accomplished with the input, advice and guidance of many of the world's greatest Olympians and Paralympians."

LA 2024 Vice Chair and 12-time Paralympic medalist Candace Cable said, "I am especially proud to be a part of the LA 2024 Athletes' Advisory Commission. This group has a golden opportunity to raise awareness about Paralympic sport, and to have meaningful input on the LA 2024 Paralympic Games concept from the athlete's perspective. This group is uniquely suited to raise the bar in terms of diversity and inclusion, not just around disability, but also gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and race."  

"LA 2024's AAC also has the significant opportunity to reignite America's passion for the Games after 28 years, and re-introduce the values of Olympism and Paralympism to a new generation of young people. Now is a unique time in which we have the opportunity to help the IOC and IPC re-imagine the Games for the future." 

"Few things are as humbling as being associated with the men and women comprising the LA 2024 Athletes' Advisory Commission," said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman. "They not only represent their nation as Olympians and Paralympians - they also represent a living link to history, to the ancient Games. Athletes are the heart and soul of the Games because without them, we would be deprived of witnessing great sport, and we would be deprived of witnessing the courage and grace that lies within each of us - this is the true gift of these great athletes. This commission will empower our bid to Follow the Sun and provide an unforgettable Games experience for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements' greatest stakeholders - athletes."

10-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis remarked, "When you look at the incredible array of athletes here today, it is hard to imagine such a gathering of champions anywhere else, except perhaps at an Olympic and Paralympic Games. I can tell you that just being on the stage with legends like Dawn [Harper-Nelson], Candace [Cable] and Janet is not only thrilling, it is humbling. Every athlete on this stage knows that the real legacy of a Games is measured in the lives, dreams and aspirations of young athletes, long after the Games are over. This AAC will help LA 2024 create a Games Concept that provides the perfect experience for athletes, and ultimately, we hope, helps the Olympic and Paralympic Movement inspire a brand new generation of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls."   

Los Angeles is bidding against Budapest, Paris and Rome to host the 2024 summer Games. The final winner to be the host city will be decided at the IOC session in Lima, Peru in September 2017.

**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 · LA 2024

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