Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who in March won a second term in office with 81 per cent of the vote, reaffirmed support for his city’s 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid during his inauguration address Saturday.
“We fight for the Olympics not just to watch its torch blaze a third trail through our city, but because we know that torch will call our children out of their homes and into our parks and our playfields,” Garcetti said to crowds gathered in front of LA’s City Hall.
“We know that universal access to sports will make Los Angeles the healthiest city in America. We know that playing a sport may make the difference between a dropout form and a diploma in our children’s hands.”
He added “If you were born here, if you were drawn here, if you came from down the block or across the sea, I want you to have a stake in this city.”
During the ceremony, several thousand attendees witnessed fencing and table tennis demonstrations from the Avant Garde Fencers Club, SilverLake Fencers and California Table Tennis, accompanied by a recording of Angeleno John Williams’ famed Olympic Fanfare and Theme.
Also on Saturday LA 2024 announced that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), representing six counties,191 cities and 19 million people, has endorsed the bid.
SCAG passed a resolution stating that LA 2024’s bid aligns with the region’s long-term planning goals, from transportation to environmental sustainability.
LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said “On behalf of LA 2024, we’re grateful for the support from the Southern California Association of Governments. SCAG’s support is a testament to LA 2024’s sustainable, low-risk, and innovative approach, designed to best fit the plans of our region, not the other way around.”
Next week a bid delegation will head to the Olympic Capital of Lausanne, Switzerland along with bid rival Paris, to provide a technical briefing to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and other key stakeholders. The membership will also take the opportunity to vote on an Executive Committee plan to award both cities with the Olympic Games next decade.
If the plan is approved, as expected, the IOC will propose a strategy outlining how it will determine which city will host first. Both cities say they are focused solely on the 2024 opportunity, and not the latter 2028 Games. A final vote for host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Games would then be held at a September 13 meeting in Lima, Peru.
Both LA Mayor Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo are expected to attend the Lausanne meetings.