IOC President Bach Says LA 2024 Olympic Bid is a “Strong Candidate” in a “Great Race”

IOC President Thomas Bach At Session in Kuala Lumpur (GamesBids Photo)International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach’s tour of Los Angeles to get acquainted with California’s 2024 Olympic bid ended with encouraging words for the city that was a last-minute replacement for the failed Boston campaign.

Bach told LA 2024 officials, “you have done a great job in thinking how, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, you can link your great Olympic legacy with an even greater Olympic future.  How you can build this future on the strong foundation you have.”

“You are a strong candidate and it is a great race of four excellent cities, trying to embrace Olympic Agenda 2020 from very different angles.”

But he stopped short of favoring the U.S. bid as a frontrunner.

“We now know wherever the Olympic Games take place in 2024 they will be great Games”.

He added, “we have finished our visits to the four candidate cities and therefore you see me very pleased.  We have a fascinating competition ahead of us with four cities who can organize excellent Olympic Games in 2024”.

Bach said, “it will be up to the four different candidates to show their uniqueness and their strength. We at the IOC can relax and watch this great Olympic competition which is as competitive as an Olympic final, but with one big difference, there is only one medal, the gold medal.

“The four candidates cities from all different angles are embracing the agenda and showing there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  They are also showing you can be a candidate for the Olympic Games for very different reasons.”

IOC President Thomas Bach practices soccer with students at UCLA (LA 2024 Facebook Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach practices soccer with students at UCLA (LA 2024 Facebook Photo)

In addition to Bach, the IOC delegation in Los Angeles included Director General Christophe de Kepper, Chief of Staff Marcus Hausen, Spokesman’s Services Director Mark Adams, Head of Protocol and Relations with IOC Members Marina Baramia and Head of Communications for German Speaking Countries Christian Klaue.

La 2024 Chair Casey Wasserman said “to a large extent, President Bach did not need to imagine what the Games would look like in 2024; he was able to see it today.”

“We are very fortunate that our wealth of existing and planned infrastructure means we are selecting the best choices, like the UCLA and USC campuses and their outstanding sports and accommodation facilities, not building them.”

The campuses were chosen as accommodation venues last month offering organizers a huge cost-savings and reduced risks.  But there are negative connotations to dormitory-style rooms for athletes and the media – something the LA bid committee was anxious to dispel in LA’s case where such facilities are typically better equipped than those in Europe or elsewhere.

Bach will travel North on Tuesday to California’s Silicon Valley to meet with technology executives and examine how new technologies might be leveraged to benefit the Olympic Games.

United States Olympic committee CEO Scott Blackmun said “LA is an innovative city located in one of the most innovative regions in the world. LA 2024 is ready to harness this world-leading tech, education and innovation capability and put it at the service of the Olympic Movement around the world.”

Along with Los Angeles, Rome, Paris and Budapest are also bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games.  The host will be elected by the IOC in September 2017.