Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games was highlighted Monday in Pasadena, California at the famous annual Tournament of Roses Parade.
LA 2024 partnered with the LA Tourism & Convention Board to produce the City of Los Angeles’ flower-covered “Follow the Sun” themed float for the parade that featured the bid’s logo and the LA Coliseum, used twice as an Olympic Stadium, at the front. Olympians and Paralympians including Anita DeFrantz, Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Lex Gillette, April Ross, Haley Anderson, Candace Cable, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Holly McPeak, Howard Shu, and Sinjin Smith were on the float.
Grand Marshals for the Tournament of Roses were Olympic legends and LA 2024 Athletes Advisory Commission leaders Janet Evans, Allyson Felix and Greg Louganis. The trio later presided over the official coin toss for the Rose Bowl American College football game where University of Southern California defeated Penn State by a score of 52-49.
More than 500 volunteers helped decorate L.A.’s “Follow the Sun” float, which included crushing ocean waves and a beach volleyball court overlooked by a blazing sun.
The parade was watched in person by hundreds of thousands of spectators and millions more view the event on television at home. As the float passed by for CBS television viewers, announcers took a moment to extol the American Olympic project and champion gymnast Bart Connor was interviewed on the prospect of a third Games in Los Angeles.
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said, “the event was a huge success for LA 2024, and the perfect stage to show the world our city’s passion for the Games and for the Olympic Movement.”
“Public support is critical to staging a successful Games. People in LA are excited by the prospect of welcoming the Olympic Movement to their city for the first time in a generation, but we do not take their support for granted.”
“We will continue working hard to build awareness and excitement to help ensure every participant is welcomed with open arms, should LA have the honour of being named the 2024 host city.”
Ernest Wooden Jr., President and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board said, “L.A.’s star is shining brighter than it ever has.”
“The ‘Follow the Sun’ float showcased the best our destination has to offer, and illustrated to the world why the 2024 Olympic Games belong right here in Los Angeles.”
L.A.’s competitors for the 2024 Games are Budapest and Paris. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the host city next September in Lima, Peru.