LA throw down Olympic gauntlet to Paris


Los Angeles, which is competing against Paris for the right to win the Games, has based its bid on an array of iconic venues which already exist or are being built.

"Los Angeles is a bid that can uniquely connect the Olympic Games with the future", Wasserman said at a recent briefing in London.

LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said the International Olympic Committee met with representatives of both bids in Denmark at the SportAccord Convention last month to explain that process.

"If you have existing venues, you don't have to envision as much". "We've been very impressed by their expertise".

Paris, the only other city in the running for the 2024 Olympics, will get their chance to showcase their bid next week but LA threw down the gauntlet to the French capital with a plan that commission leader Patrick Baumann said had no major risks and venues that he gushed as "mind-blowing".

LA 2024 and Paris will have two more major opportunities to showcase their bids when they make presentations to the International Olympic Committee at the Lausanne headquarters in July followed by the all-important final presentation at a Congress in Lima, Peru ahead of the Sept 13 vote.

City planners describe the Los Angeles International Airport as the "gateway" for the Olympics.

The possibility of a dual award hung as a specter around the commission's visit. The decision to use UCLA as an athletes village, saving $1 billion or more, was also well-received.

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There was more pointed complaints from the worldwide media about the appearance to some that Los Angeles officials are presenting themselves as riding to the IOC's rescue, criticism that Garcetti seemed to somewhat acknowledge Friday. "And that is the value proposition for movement from Los Angeles".

Baumann and his colleagues - 11 evaluators plus accompanying staff - gave LA 2024 reason to smile after holding meetings on Wednesday, touring proposed venues such as Pauley Pavilion and the Coliseum on Thursday, then conducting a brief Friday review. The most recent Summer Olympics a year ago in Rio do Janeiro started with a bid of $14.4 billion and included substantial infrastructure projects and construction. The Tokyo 2020 Games could end up costing $30 billion, approximately four times higher than the initial estimate.

In fact, the LA proposal that is budgeted for a modest US$5.3 billion, calls for no new venue construction. "No other city can say that".

"It was great to have Tony be a part of the visit to Long Beach", said Garcia. "I mean, this is Hollywood - we could've had the best show, the cutest kids lining up, we could've had the most incredible fireworks".

"This is Hollywood. We could have had the best show, the cutest kids lining the streets, we could have had the most awesome fireworks, but we didn't change a single thing".

"We want to show how we can develop the practice of sport in this country, how the Games will act as a leverage to show the power of sport to play a social, ecological, unifying role", said Estanguet, a triple Olympic canoeing champion.

"The beginning of a new chapter that we write together", Garcetti said.