Top Olympians and Paralympians will celebrate the Los Angeles bid for the 2024’s Olympic and Paralympic Games by riding the “Follow the Sun” float in the 128th Rose Parade float on January 2, 2017.
The float, created in partnership with LA2024 and the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, will feature Olympic and Paralympic legends including gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, Paralympic long jumper Lex Gillette and beach volleyball world champion April Ross.
Angeleno athletes with the LA84 Foundation, the youth sports non-profit funded by the success of the 1984 Olympic Games, will also be among the contingent on the float.
Last week LA 2024 Vice Chair Janet Evans was named one of the parade’s Grand Marshalls along with track legend Allyson Felix who highlighted the bid’s presentation to ANOC members in Doha earlier this week, and Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. The parade, themed “Echoes of Success”, will marquee the three Olympic legends and Southern California natives who are also working to bring the Summer Olympic Games back to Los Angeles for the third time – and to the Unites States for the first time since 1996.
The “Follow the Sun” float will be comprised of more than 20,000 total roses, mums and carnations as well as natural materials such as seeds, rice and moss.
Reportedly no local taxpayer dollars were used in the creation or production of the float.
The landmark Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will stand at the front of the float, with a flame burning atop its cauldron, as L.A.’s new Olympic logo – LA 2024’s Angel – flies high above the Coliseum’s famed peristyle. The Coliseum is flanked by floral arrangements made up of Bird of Paradise flowers – the official flower of Los Angeles, and is framed by stylized sculptures of Los Angeles’ signature palm trees.
Live beach volleyball will take place at the float’s centre, surrounded by floral illustrations of crystalline crashing waves, and at the rear of the float will be a larger-than-life sculpture of the setting sun.
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said, “on behalf of LA 2024, we are honoured to participate in the City of Los Angeles’ float for the 128th Rose Parade. The Rose Parade is the perfect stage to show the world our city’s enthusiasm and passion for the Olympic Movement. Our ‘Follow the Sun’ float reflects the City of Angels’ optimism, innovation and creativity that LA 2024 intends to harness to deliver a New Games for a new era”.
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board chief marketing officer Don Skench added, “from our world-class venues, natural beauty and endless sunshine, the City of L.A. float in the 128th Rose Parade brings to life the myriad treasures that make Los Angeles a premier vacation destination and the ideal city to host the greatest global sports event in 2024. The destination continues to mesmerize more than 45 million annual visitors with only-in-L.A. experiences”.
L.A. is bidding for the 2024 Games along with Budapest and Paris. The host city will be selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) September 13, 2017 in Lima, Peru.