Olympic dream becomes reality

Long Beach poised to host Olympics events as LA named host city

Every four years, the Olympic Games fills people worldwide with hopes and dreams of seeing athletes from their respective countries take home the gold. For Los Angeles, the dream has been to serve as the stage for those international competitors.

The dream is now a reality following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to award upcoming Summer Olympics Games to Paris and LA.

Thomas Bach, IOC president, commented on the “golden opportunity,” via a press-conference video posted on the Olympic Channel’s official Twitter account.

“It’s a golden opportunity for today, but it is of really great importance for the future of the Olympic Games,” Bach said. “Ensuring the stability of the Olympic Games for 11 years is really, in our world, something extraordinary.”
It is not yet concrete as to which of the two cities will host which games– either 2024 or 2028– however the announcement secures a spot for LA.

During the same press conference, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo mentioned their support to host the games.

“I think that whoever goes first has an opportunity to move and take the first step,” Garcetti said. “Whoever goes second will have a responsibility to take that even further. Both will have to have the resources necessary through their own fundraising through the IOC and others, to make that happen.”

Hidalgo said that this act by the IOC is just what the world needs.

“We have to bring this [Olympic] flame back. We want to bring it back, and today we are on the same path,” she said. “We’re going to work on that, and I’m sure we’ll make it happen so that Lima [Peru] will be a great celebration of all the Olympic spirit can bring. This confidence is what the world needs today.”

If LA and Paris can reach an agreement, the 131st IOC session in Lima this September could ratify the joint-award decision and propose the hosts of the 2024 games, according to Olympic Channel’s tweet.

The announcement Tuesday was met with praise from LA 2024– the Los Angeles committee that works with Garcetti’s office to develop a plan for the games.

A press release from LA 2024 stated, “This is a proud day for Los Angeles and for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in America. We’re thrilled with the IOC’s decision [on Tuesday,] which is a major step forward in making LA’s Olympic dream a reality.”

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia also expressed his thoughts via Twitter about the IOC’s plans.

“Honored and excited that Long Beach will host seven Olympic events for the LA Olympics in either 2024 or 2028,” Garcia’s statement reads. “We are ready to showcase Long Beach and Los Angeles to the world. We are very proud of Mayor Garcetti and the efforts of the entire Olympic Committee.”

Long Beach has been the venue for a few past Olympic events, including the last time LA hosted the games in 1984.
The mayor also tweeted images of LA 2024’s renderings of the Olympic venues in Long Beach, including a temporary BMX and water polo venue.

LA 2024’s bid included the addition of the Long Beach Arena for handball, the Long Beach Waterfront for the triathlon, marathon swimming and Paralympic triathlon, the temporary Long Beach BMX and water polo venues and the Long Beach Pier for sailing.

LA and Paris were the only cities vying to host the summer games. Boston, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg dropped out of the selection list of possible host cities.

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