POSTED: Thursday March 23rd 2017

LA 2024 celebrates Southern California sports spectacular

Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix, Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, BNP Paribas Open and World Baseball Classic bolster LA 2024’s promise to deliver athlete-led New Games for a new era

LOS ANGELES - LA 2024 bid leaders today hailed another boost to Southern California's Olympic and Paralympic hosting credentials with this week's successful hosting of the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Fencing Grand Prix Tournament, the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, the BNP Paribas Open and the World Baseball Classic.

Los Angeles’ experience with hosting global sporting events at world-class existing facilities on a regular basis was evident in the smooth and successfully operated events that provided outstanding conditions for elite performance. Bid leaders highlighted the events’ high fan engagement as evidence of Southern California residents’ appetite for live sport. Los Angeles sells more than 12 million sports event tickets each year, more than the combined attendance for several top European soccer leagues.

The first foil Grand Prix tournament to be held on US soil in more than three decades, the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix tournament featured Olympic and World Championships medalists from more than 30 countries. The tournament took place March 18 and 19 at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, in the heart of LA 2024’s proposed Long Beach Sports Park. Should the IOC elect LA as 2024 Host City, the Long Beach Sports Park would host the Olympic BMX, handball, open-water swimming, sailing, triathlon, and water polo competitions, as well as the Paralympic triathlon competition. Russian Olympian Timur Safin took home the gold medal on the men's side, while US Olympian Lee Kiefer took top honors in the women's competition.

Meanwhile, more than 24,000 athletes from all 50 US states and more than 63 countries participated in the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday. The marathon course highlighted some of LA’s most iconic attractions including Dodger Stadium, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and sunny Santa Monica beach, LA 2024’s proposed venue for the Olympic beach volleyball competition. Hundreds of thousands of spectators took to the streets to support the participants, providing what bid leaders called a “snapshot of the festival atmosphere” that would color the city for the 2024 Games. Volunteers joined LA 2024 at Mile 24 of the course as part of the bid committee's Volunteer Service Program initiative, to cheer on runners and provide them with water. The Volunteer Service Program aims to marry Angelenos' passion for volunteerism with their love for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to make a positive impact on the city well before 2024. In return for their volunteering, Volunteer Service Program participants will receive priority consideration for volunteer roles should LA be awarded the 2024 Games. 

Also in Southern California, the BNP Paribas Open concluded with an electrifying weekend of final matches at the world-famous Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Swiss legend Roger Federer hoisted his record-tying fifth Indian Wells trophy on the men's side, while Elena Vesnina defeated fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the women's. The tournament drew more than 400,000 spectators, including capacity crowds at Stadium 1, the second largest tennis stadium in the world after Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

Finally, Los Angeles hosted the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic. The United States won the tournament for the first time in front of a spirited crowd of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.

LA 2024 Vice Chair and Director of Athlete Relations Janet Evans said: “On behalf of LA 2024, I would like to congratulate the organizers of this week's world-class sporting events for their smooth and successful operation. We are fortunate to host global, state-of-the-art events like these on a regular basis in Los Angeles. Our wealth of existing infrastructure, like the Long Beach Convention Center, will allow LA 2024 to spend the seven years leading up to the Games working to deliver the most innovative and personalized Games experience in history, not worrying about construction deadlines or ballooning budgets.

“Angelenos live and breathe sport, because sport has the power to unite us and inspire us to reach for goals we once thought impossible. This week was a reminder that the Olympic and Paralympic values really are in out city's DNA and further proof that we are ready to warmly welcome the world in 2024. Both events provided snapshots of the festival atmosphere that athletes, fans and members of the Olympic family can expect in 2024.”

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