Officials from Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games said they weren’t surprised by the glowing evaluation report released by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Wednesday, despite minor ‘challenges’ raised regarding traffic, accessibility and lower public support than a year-old bid poll.
“I don’t think anything in this was surprising,” LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said when asked by GamesBids.com after reviewing the report.
“We had a great deal of interaction with the evaluation Commission members when they were here for three-and-a-half days and they gave us a very good summary report based on their impressions and their own discussions among their team right before they left, so I think the report is largely consistent with that – I don’t think there were any surprises in it.
“It reassures us we’re on the right track and our sense at what’s important to the IOC members, what we had to prove to them, is something we’ve been able to achieve,” he added.
Defending an IOC Commissioned poll taken in February and published for the first time with Wednesday’s report that shows 10 per cent less support than a poll taken last year, bid Chair Casey Wasserman said “we are pleased this poll continues to show the overall strong public support we have, it is consistent with the Loyola poll, opposition has dropped, actually, since the Loyola Marymount poll was released last year and our polling is significantly higher than the past two American bids in New York (59 per cent) and Chicago (67 per cent).
The IOC poll showed 78 per cent support with 8 per cent opposed, still high for Western Olympic bid standards and above the 63 per cent polled for rival Paris.
“These are extraordinary numbers that we are very proud of,” Wasserman said.
LA, along with Paris, is set to present a technical briefing to IOC members next Tuesday in Lausanne – and at the same time a vote will be held to ratify an Executive Board proposal to award both cities with Games in the next decade, one in 2024 and the other in 2028. With the likelihood that both cities will be partnering with the IOC, the evaluation report read more like a marketing brochure for each city complete with a flashy video.
But Wasserman refused to address the 2028 possibility, explaining that any such discussions were “a little premature.”
Defending the report he added “the report matters because it’s another important step in the process.”
“This report is another validation of the team we have built and the city of Los Angeles’ efforts to do just that. And we’re very proud of that. So it matters, we take great pride in our work, we take great pride in our city and we take great pride in our passion to host the Olympic Games.”
Wasserman and his team, along with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti will be making the trip to Lausanne to fight for the 2024 Games.
“We have been preparing for it for a while and are looking forward to it.”
Sykes added “The IOC Evaluation Commission declared that LA is ‘cool’ which we all know it is.”
“That was a dozen members – there are going to be all the members at the Session that we’re going to see them next week and we want to make the same impression on all the members that we made on the Evaluation Commission.
“This is our chance.”