LA 2024 Celebrates Summer Solstice Linking #FollowTheSun and Agenda 2020

Los Angeles’ bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 Tuesday launched its #FollowTheSun to Olympic Agenda 2020 campaign, an opportunity to showcase 20 events in 20 days and present the values of LA 2024.

LA 2024 celebrates the summer solstice with Badminton at Griffith Observatory (LA 2024 Photo)

LA 2024 celebrates the summer solstice with Badminton at Griffith Observatory (LA 2024 Photo)

Uniquely timed, the event has been kicked off at the Summer Solstice, when Summer begins and offers a day with the most sunlit hours in the year in the Northern Hemisphere.  And in 20 days LA 2024 officials will travel to Lausanne, Switzerland to present a vision of the Games – and define how it will complement Agenda 2020 – to the full International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership and Summer Sport Federations.

The campaign leverages the bid’s Follow The Sun tagline.

The campaign will include community events, sports demonstrations and important announcements, “each demonstrating why the LA 2024 Games Plan is not only aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020, but will help the IOC make tangible progress in its mission to safeguard the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and strengthen sport in society,” the bid claims.

The campaign began Tuesday with a pop-up badminton match at the Griffith Observatory as part of that venue’s Summer Solstice programming.  Olympians Paula Obanana and Iris Wang and their USA Badminton teammates Kyle Emerick and Tuck Chan played a match as the sun set over sweeping views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign.

LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said “LA 2024 is an invitation to the Olympic Movement to Follow The Sun to a bright future. So there is no better way to start our 20-day homage to the IOC’s future-focused Olympic Agenda 2020 roadmap than a Summer Solstice celebration on the year’s longest day of sunshine.

“With minimal costs, we have been able to engage this community in a celebration of sport and the Olympic Movement. An LA Games in 2024 will harness the best of Californian culture, entertainment and optimistic spirit and help the IOC to engage young people and communities worldwide.”

LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said “Olympic Agenda 2020 has guided our thought processes from day one. It has shaped every aspect of our planning, including selecting UCLA as our Games-ready Olympic and Parlaympic Village, and it has directed us in how we can best make a positive, long-term contribution to the Olympic Movement.

“LA 2024 simply would not be here if it was not for Olympic Agenda 2020’s renewed focus on smart, responsible, sustainable planning.”

LA 2024 celebrates the Summer Solstice with Badminton at Griffith Observatory (LA 2024 Photo)

LA 2024 celebrates the Summer Solstice with Badminton at Griffith Observatory (LA 2024 Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach launched Agenda 2020 as part of his election manifesto in 2013, and the 40 point plan was approved by the membership in 2014.  As a plan to update the Olympic Movement for the 21st century, the bid-specific reforms emphasize the need for greater sustainability and cost-savings for Olympic bids and organizing the Games.

Bach claimed that all five applicants for the 2024 Games were encouraged to bid due to the new reforms yet three cities – Hamburg, Rome and Budapest – subsequently dropped out of the race due to risk and cost concerns.

Both Los Angeles and rival Paris have been credited with creating two of the most sustainable bids in Olympic history, and earlier this month the IOC Executive Board proposed that both cities be awarded with the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games.  The membership are expected to ratify the decision at the July 11 meeting.

The allocation of the Games will be finalized at a meeting September 13 in Lima, Peru.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.