The development is being hailed as a “win-win-win,” which, even for the Olympics, is a performance truly Olympian.
Rarely do you see an event conclude with the awarding of three gold medals.
Still, on the latest historic day en route to the Southland hosting the 2028 Summer Games, no one finished as distant as runner-up, even as L.A. willingly came in second for the 2024 Olympics to Paris.
“This agreement,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday in praising the victory, “… will allow us to seed a legacy of hope and opportunity that will lift up every community in Los Angeles.”
Immediate and rampant optimism from organizers and politicians alike is as much a part of the Olympic movement as the flame itself, both shining brightly and neither capable of being doused.
Still more than a decade removed from the opening ceremony at the Coliseum, however, the more important message today is the promise that the flame won’t come back to burn us all.
“What we were able to negotiate,” Garcetti said, “this deal was too good to pass up.”
Wait, these are the still Olympics, right? And this is still the International Olympic Committee, a group often hard to stomach and more frequently difficult to trust?
Even with Agenda 2020, the reforms introduced by IOC president Thomas Bach to clean up the murky bidding process, this all sounds like some sort of crazy Olympic dream.
As it is, local organizers reached a deal they say will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and additional revenue.
The IOC, among other concessions, has agreed to contribute at least $1.8 billion to L.A. and advance $180 million immediately, the majority of which leaders assure will be invested in local youth sports.
“This is a big win for Los Angeles,” said bid chairman Casey Wasserman, who added that his committee’s slogan of “Follow The Sun” is “not because of our weather but because of our belief that tomorrow will always be better than today.”
“That’s called optimism,” he explained. “We believe … it is the perfect message for the Olympic movement going forward.”
Well, this is one movement that could certainly use something optimistic, an IOC now being characterized as generous and agreeable famous in the past only for its astounding greed.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the globe to cover the Olympics, from Sydney to Torino to Beijing, where I still can’t believe the abundance of…