USOC Chief Welcomes Joint Olympic Bid Award, But Preparing ‘A Lot of Questions’ About LA 2024

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) are preparing “a lot of questions” ahead of a July 11 International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting set to discuss the possible joint-awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to Los Angeles and Paris.

LA Stadium at Hollywood Park , proposed for LA 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Archery, Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Should the IOC Membership approve the Executive Board’s proposal, as expected, the two bid cities will be offered one edition of those Games on September 13.

But USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said at the conclusion of his Board of Directors Meeting Tuesday at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina that the unset “rules of engagement” make it difficult to set a clear path forward for LA 2024.

“There are going to be a lot of questions if [the IOC] decide to go forward with the dual award because we haven’t done it before so we are going to make sure that we understand what the rules of engagement are,” Blackmun said.

“This [dual award] obviously makes it more likely that both Paris and Los Angeles will be able to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and that’s a good thing, but until we know more about it though we are not going too far down the road of exploring what kind of impact it might have.”

“We’re still firmly committed to bringing the Games back to the United States and look forward to discussions with the IOC after July 11 if in fact it does get approved at the Session,” he told GamesBids.com.

IOC President Thomas Bach announced the dual-award proposal at the his Executive Board meeting earlier this month and suggested that both cities will be open to discussions after the plans are confirmed by a member vote.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks to reporters at the Staples Center (GamesBids Photo)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks to reporters at the Staples Center (GamesBids Photo)

Paris claim that they cannot host the 2028 edition because land required for the Olympic Village concept will no longer be available in the later year.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, however, has taken a more concessionary tone and has openly suggested possible rewards that could come from the IOC by agreeing to host in 2028 instead – including funding for youth sport in the city prior to the Games.

Bach later rebuffed that suggestion explaining that the 2028 Games would be a present to the “winning” city and no further rewards were necessary.

Blackmun maintains, however that the USOC is far from any decision over a possible 2028 Games.

He said “as with any project this size there are a lot of stakeholders and whenever you change the rules of engagement you need to make sure you have the support and approval of all of those stakeholders, and I don’t think we’re close enough to knowing that now.”

“I would be lying to you if I told you we were not thinking about it at all; we’re really trying to make sure that we have all the questions in place that need to be answered, but at this point we’re focused on 2024 just like LA 2024 is.”

“We’ll leave it up to the IOC to make its decision in July then we’ll hopefully take our lists of questions, if that’s the course we’re taking, and make sure that we get the answers before we make any decisions.”

In the end, Blackmun said, the USOC’s decision will center around “the impact of how it might affect our athletes in their quest to win Olympic medals, and Paralympic medals.”

Both Los Angeles and Paris will provide technical briefings to IOC members on July 11 and 12 during the arranged Session where members are expected to rubber-stamp the joint-award.  A working group of four IOC Vice President’s is expected to report more details of the proposed plans including how the 2024 and 2028 allocation would work logistically.

The bids will be awarded 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