“Today is an incredibly special day for two great cities here on the stage,” United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said Wednesday, congratulating his French counterparts on their “great work on behalf of Paris 2024.”
“We all look forward to a spectacular Games in your beautiful city,” Blackmun added, before crediting L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman for making the California city’s bid an attractive one to the IOC.
“These two gentlemen never gave up on L.A.’s Olympic dreams — and thank goodness they didn’t,” he said.
Los Angeles began its quest to host the Games in 2014, but it was originally beat out by Boston. However, when Boston dropped out because of cost concerns, the USOC decided to put forth Los Angeles as the United States’ prime option in 2015. While several L.A. residents objected to hosting the Games, which the city previously hosted in 1932 and 1984, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously backed the bid. An IOC promise to advance at least $1.8 billion to the city with the goal of increasing participation and access to youth sports programs appeared to sweeten the deal for city officials.
Garcetti, one of the leading negotiators in the process, called the offer “too good to pass up” at the time.
On Wednesday, Garcetti appeared to still hold that position while speaking to the crowd in Lima.
“L.A. is a city where the Games are not a barrier to making progress; we know that they are an accelerating force to re-envisioning a better city and a better world in the days ahead as we welcome you back to the City of Angels,” he said, mentioning his 5-year-old daughter, Maya, who will be 16 when the Olympics kick off in the city in 2028.
“I will see her and my city grow up,” he said, “with new rail lines and a reborn airport, and the Olympics will help spur our bold vision to build a city of opportunity, no matter what neighborhood you live in.”