POSTED: June 7th 2017

Olympics: LA 2024 Chief Casey Wasserman issues ground breaking statement on 2028

Will the LA Memorial Coliseum host the 2028 Games? Answers are coming soon © SFC
Will the LA Memorial Coliseum host the 2028 Games? Answers are coming soon © SFC

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Just two days prior to a key IOC EB meetings in Lausanne LA 2024 bid chief Casey Wasserman issues a clear statement that they would accept the 2028 Games. It just isn't "about 2024" paving the way for the IOC to hammer out their deal to award two Olympic Games out of one bidding campaign.

The IOC got the memo - bidding as it is wasn't working. IOC President Thomas Bach gave an interview last weekend that outlined in broad terms how they may go forward.

Actually by LA taking the 2028 Games now really means they have almost eleven whole years to ramp up the local and national vibe for hosting the Games. In a recent interview with Don Skeoch, Discover LA Chief Marketing Officer, he mentioned that as soon as a city is announced as a host of the Games the world's attention is on that city. He is correct that is exactly what happens and for tourism's sake this is purely a bonus.

Wasserman's statement reads: "In recent years, several cities have withdrawn from bidding for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They walked away due to a variety of reasons, but mostly due to cost and legacy concerns, and the resulting devastating impact on public support. That's why the IOC created its Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which have guided us in the creation and planning of our 2024 bid.

In my city and country, there is an unshakeable public confidence for the Games. 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% of Angelenos support our bid in a city where almost 40% of the population was born outside the US. That's called unity, not diversity - just like the Olympic Movement itself.

At the meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees in November of last year, our Mayor Eric Garcetti said something profound for a bid. He said, "we believe this campaign isn't just about the Games in our city in 2024 ... it's about ensuring that the Games are sustainable and relevant in every year beyond 2024."

To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024. 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. For some, that may be a surprising statement for an American bid; but, it shouldn't be because America's support for the Games has never wavered - ever.

We are confident in our plan and in our Games legacy for the people of LA because we don't have to build any new permanent venues - that's the new definition of "Olympic sustainability." And during its recent trip to Los Angeles, the IOC's Evaluation Commission resolutely confirmed the technical excellence of LA's plan for the 2024 Games. In fact, they called it "mind blowing." We are ready to share it now with the world in the service of the Olympic Movement.

We don't believe in ultimatums - we believe in partnership; that's why we are willing to look beyond ourselves and ask the question "how can LA best serve the long-term needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games?"

Follow the Sun has always been an invitation to the future. LA 2024 offers the Movement a "no surprises" plan that can help redefine sustainability for the Games, ensure continued financial stability for the Olympic Movement and create new opportunities to engage with young people around the world. For these reasons and many more, Follow the Sun is an opportunity, for everyone."

Leaner, Cheaper, Smarter

The IOC should definitely shed this no longer relevant model of bidding for the Games once and for all and do what Bach alludes to and bring it in house. Trim things down and make the offer leaner, cheaper and smarter.

How will the IOC Members react? This remains to be seen as it will take away their voting power in this equation. But it would ensure the longevity of the event.

We will see how the IOC EB winds up on Friday as President Bach meets the press with details.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-six 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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