Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky Featured In New ‘Legends of LA’ Olympic Bid Video

Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Thursday released the final video in its ‘Legend of LA’ series featuring Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky and The Forum that hosted their athletic performances.

The series showcases legendary athletes describing the iconic venues in which they competed, from their unique perspectives.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is Vice Chair of LA 2024 and played professional basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) at The Forum.  He said in the video ” “[The Forum] is going to supply every athlete the energy they need to play at their highest level and at their best. The crowd feels a part of the game, and the athletes feed off that energy from the crowd.”

The iconic venue also hosted Olympic basketball at Los Angeles’ second Games in 1984.  The city hosted its first Games in 1932.  The 1960’s arena underwent extensive renovations to reopen in 2014 and hosts world-class sports and entertainment events year-round in its 17,500-seat auditorium.

Should LA win the right to host the Games in 2024 The Forum would host Olympic Gymnastics eliminating the costs and risks of developing a new venue for the event.

Olympian Wayne Gretzky who played ice hockey for Team Canada at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games said “As a child, you’ve got to have dreams and you’ve got to have goals.”

“Olympic athletes are so inspiring to young kids. I don’t think that there’s anything more inspiring than to compete against the greatest athletes in the world, on one stage together. You can’t take away the atmosphere and the history that [The Forum] has.”

Olympian Wayne Gretzky competed in ice hockey at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games and played in The Forum for the Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise

Olympian Wayne Gretzky competed in ice hockey at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games and played in The Forum for the Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise

Gretzky won four Stanley Cup Championships in the National Hockey League (NHL) before joining the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 where he played his games at The Forum, the venue that hosted The Kings for 32 years.

The other videos in the ‘Legends of LA’ series featured Olympians Carl Lewis, Kobe Bryant and Cobi Jones reliving their memories of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, STAPLES Center, and StubHub Center respectively.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission will be visiting The Forum and other proposed venues for the 2024 Games when they arrive in Los Angeles for a three-day visit starting Wednesday.

The IOC will select from between LA and rival bid Paris when they choose the 2024 host city September 13 in Lima, Peru.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil