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L.A. waits to find out which Olympics it will host

LOS ANGELES — The International Olympic Committee voted unanimously July 11 to award both the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics simultaneously in September — meaning Los Angeles is certain to be awarded one set of games, likely in 2028, while Paris gets the other.

Los Angeles and Paris are the only two cities vying for the 2024 Games and both made formal presentations to the IOC in Switzerland. Boston, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg had earlier expressed interest in the games, but later pulled out of the competition.

Mayor Eric Garcetti headed the Los Angeles delegation while the one from Paris was led by French President Emanuelle Macron and included Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Garcetti and Hidalgo both thanked the IOC after its vote, according to reports from Lausanne.

Now that the IOC has approved the simultaneous awarding of both games, it is expected the move will all but secure the 2028 Games for Los Angeles because the city’s delegation has been receptive to the idea while the Paris organizers have insisted on 2024 because their planned Olympic Village will not be available in 2028. Various media reports, citing unnamed sources, have said IOC officials favor Paris for 2024.

Despite the flexible statements from LA 2024 officials on 2028 over the last few months, Garcetti insisted the decision on which city will host in 2024 is not a done deal.

“I am not being coy, we don’t have it worked out sitting here, who goes when,” Garcetti said. “I just have the confidence that it will. Both cities have to assess now that the rules have changed and I’ve always said I can’t take a hypothetical.

“Today is the first moment, literally minutes ago, where this no longer is a hypothetical. We will sit with our team, Paris will sit with its team. And of course, whether it’s ’28 or ’24, both cities have to look at what their needs are within their cities and the possibilities of how you best can do the Games.”

LA 2024 also praised the IOC’s decision to award both games.

“This is a proud day for Los Angeles and for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in America,” said a statement from LA 2024. “We’re thrilled with the IOC’s decision today, which is a major step forward in making LA’s Olympic dream a reality.

“Today, two of the world’s greatest cities, with outstanding but different proposals, stand ready to serve and advance the Olympic and Paralympic movements and their values. We look forward to working with the IOC and Paris in the weeks ahead to turn this golden opportunity into a golden future together.”

The L.A. delegation in Switzerland includes Garcetti, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, CEO Gene Sykes and Vice Chairs Janet Evans and Candace Cable, among others. The group gave the IOC a 45-minute presentation July 11 on the city’s bid, including a 30-minute question-and-answer session.

By utilizing existing venues like Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and ones already planned by private investors, LA 2024 presented a balanced $5.3 billion budget for the games.

“L.A. possesses a huge array of existing, modern sports facilities,” Janet Evans, a four-time Olympic champion and the vice chair of the LA 2024 committee spearheading the city’s effort to be selected as host, told the IOC, repeating what has been a recurring them in the Los Angeles bid. “The Evaluation Commission called our venues ‘mind-blowing’ — and they are.”

IOC President Thomas Bach echoed a recent report by the IOC’s Evaluation Commission, which concluded that L.A. and Paris’ bids are in line with reforms the committee has been striving for over the last several years.

The Olympic Agenda 2020, which was approved in 2014, is aimed at fighting corruption while improving transparency and good governance.

“We are very impressed with how both cities have embraced the reforms of the Olympic Agenda 2020,” Bach said on the eve of the L.A. delegation’s presentation.

Garcetti sought to reinforce the point as he closed the city’s presentation.

“First, we’re a young city, full of fresh, new ideas,” the mayor said. “Second, we’re not focused on the last 100 years, we are focused on the next 100. The question every candidate city must answer is ‘What do we leave behind after the games are over — not only for our city, but for the movement?

“We’ve thought a lot about this. Our goal is to offer you something different, something unique — not more of the same. None of us can afford more of the same.”

Garcetti said that, “just as the Greeks used the sun to light the flame, we want to use the sunlight of our creativity to illuminate the future of your great games.”

Also in the L.A. delegation was four-time Olympian Allyson Felix, a Los Angeles native who stressed the United States is a fine choice as an Olympic Games venue despite a turbulent history.

“Look at me,” Felix said. “My heritage is African. And my ancestors’ path to my country was one of bondage, not one of freedom. But out of that painful past, our nation grew, it adapted and it changed for the better — and it will again. I believe that with all my heart or I would not be here today supporting our bid.”

The selection of the host city for 2024 and 2028 will take place in Lima, Peru, in September. If awarded one of the games, it will be the third time Los Angeles will have hosted the Olympics after previously hosting in 1932 and 1984.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that he’s “working hard” to bring the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, but exactly what he’s doing wasn’t immediately clear.

Trump met in the Oval Office last month with Bach and “pledged his full support” for the Los Angeles bid, according to the White House.

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