L.A. and Rome 2024 Olympic Bids Appoint Athletes To Leadership Roles

NBA legend and Olympic Champion Magic Johnson appointed co-chair of LA 2024
NBA legend and Olympic Champion Magic Johnson appointed co-chair of LA 2024

Two bids to host the 2024 Olympic Games appointed athletes to key leadership positions on Wednesday.

NBA icon, Olympic gold medalist and business leader Earvin “Magic” Johnson along with legendary labor leader Maria Elena Durazo have been appointed Vice Chairs of the L.A. 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid committee.  They will join four time Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans as Vice Chairs on the board of directors.

Johnson is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and motivational speaker, and a partner of Guggenheim Baseball Management, and is also part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Durazo is the Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity for UNITE-HERE.  Previously she led the second largest central labor party in the U.S..

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said of the appointments, “Maria Elena Durazo and Earvin “Magic” Johnson define what it means to be leaders.  With their expertise in labor, business and sport, they bring a level of professionalism and diversity that is uniquely suited to help us bring the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Los Angeles”.

LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman added, “we couldn’t be prouder to welcome Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Maria Elena Durazo to our LA 2024 team.  Together they bring a great diversity of talent and expertise, with each one addressing key aspects of the bid”.

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said, “we are excited to have both Magic and Maria Elena join LA 2024.  Mayor Garcetti and Casey Wasserman have done a very good job of tapping into both LA’s Olympic heritage and its thriving modern sports scene, and we look forward to working with all of the leaders of LA 2024 to return the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the United States”.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic fencing gold medallist Diana Bianchedi is now the new general director of Rome 2024, replacing Claudio Bugno who reportedly left his role for a new job.

Bianchedi won gold medals in team foil for Italy at the 1992 and 2000 Olympics, as well as five world titles.  She has a degree in sports medicine and was the Italian Olympic Committee’s first female vice-president.

Bid chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo says that Bianchedi “beyond being an undisputed champion, is an expert and capable manager”.

Other candidates for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games are Paris, Hamburg and Budapest.  Next week the cities will visit  the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne for individual workshops.  The IOC will elect the host city in 2017.

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