Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant Named To LA 2024 Board of Directors

Former NBA star and two-time Olympic basketball Champion Kobe Bryant has been added to the Board of Directors of Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it was announced Friday at LA’s Rose Bowl Stadium.

NBA Legend Kobe Bryant (centre) with Olympic Champion swimmer Janet Evans (right) and announcer Al Michaels in Facebook Livestream June 30, 2017.

NBA Legend Kobe Bryant (centre) with Olympic Champion swimmer Janet Evans (right) and announcer Al Michaels in Facebook Livestream June 30, 2017.

An announcement made on Facebook Livestream with the help of Olympic announcer Al Michaels and LA 2024 Vice Chair Janet Evans confirmed that the 18-time NBA All-Star representing the LA Lakers would join 114 high profile members of the Board, and that he would also be part of LA 2024 Athlete’s Advisory Committee lead by Evans.

LA 2024 officials say they hope to leverage Bryant’s sports and Olympic experience, as well as his massive social media following of almost 12 million Twitter followers and 21 million Facebook likes, to reach global youth and help grow Olympic and Paralympic sports.

“I want to bring my experience playing in LA and as an Olympian to help guarantee an elite experience for athletes in this city in 2024,” Bryant said.

“The Los Angeles community has embraced me as one of their own for 20 years.

“I love this city and how people support both athletes and the creative community. Working with LA 2024, I hope we can bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to Los Angeles.”

The official appointment comes in the midst of LA 2024’s #FollowTheSun to Olympic Agenda 2020 campaign that builds a path of announcements to show how the U.S. bid supports and leverages the International Olympic Committee (IOC) strategic road map that includes reinforcing sustainability and efficiency while organizing the Games.  That path leads to key technical presentations by LA, and rival bid Paris to IOC members and stakeholders July 11 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Both cities could be assured of hosting an Olympic Games next decade, in either 2024 or 2028, if IOC members vote to approve a plan to do so during the same meeting.  A vote would then be required at the next Session scheduled for September 13 in Lima, Peru to allocate which city would host which edition.

The bid claims Bryant’s involvement will help deliver at least two of the forty points of Agenda 2020 which include the tight integration of the athletes’ experience in the Games, and the engagement with youth – something Bryant could accomplish with his digital presence.

IOC President Thomas Bach meets NBA's LA Lakers Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles January 31, 2016 (IOC Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach meets NBA’s LA Lakers Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles January 31, 2016 (IOC Photo)

LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said “Kobe is an icon for millions of sports fans around the world. Throughout his career he demonstrated a real passion for instilling his love of sport and his work ethic in the next generation of young athletes.”

“Beyond the basketball court, Kobe has been a champion in the LA community, providing sports, cultural and educational opportunities for young Angelenos. Kobe is synonymous with LA’s status as a global sports and entertainment capital and he will be an excellent addition to our bid team.”

On Friday, LA 2024 announced eight other new members of the Athletes’ Advisory Commission, bringing the total to 108.  They include David Boudia in Diving, Valerie Brisco-Hooks in Track and Field, Mark Crear in Track and Field, Meryl Davis in Ice Dancing, Sarah Hughes in Figure Skating, John Moffet in Swimming, Summer Sanders in Swimming and Charlie White in Ice Dancing.

This week LA 2024 made additional #FollowTheSun to Olympic Agenda 2020 campaign announcements including the LA 2024 “Green Medal” awards “to encourage American sports teams, leagues, universities, venue operators and other sports organizations to adopt cutting-edge sustainability practices throughout the build-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Earlier, the bid announced that it has signed up 10,000 people to its volunteer program for those who wish to lend their service to the Games, and events running up to it.