Denver (US), Aug 1 (IANS) The biggest cheers for Los Angeles being awarded the 2028 Summer Olympic Games actually came from across the Atlantic Ocean.
“I have always dreamed of seeing the Olympic games in real and the dream came true!” tweeted Julia O on the French website #Paris 2024, reports Xinhua news agency.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made it official that America’s second largest city will host the 2028 Games, leaving Paris as the only city left to host the Olympics in 2024.
While France’s social media lit up with joy, 9,500 kilometres away in Los Angeles, the city was alive with excitement in anticipation of hosting its third Olympic extravaganza.
Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Games.
“Ronald Reagan was president…when the U.S. dominated the Games and showed the world we were the top sports country,” remembered Washington D.C. magazine publisher Al Rickard.
However the 1984 Games were tainted — in response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 countries, including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany, did not attend.
In 1984, America claimed 174 medals to runner-up West Germany’s 59 — and its 83 gold medals broke a record dating to 1904.
With Monday’s agreement, the city is taking “a major step toward bringing the Games back to our city for the first time in a generation,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.
The last generation of Americans watching the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles saw Michael Jordan, the National Basketball Association superstar, lead his team to a gold medal.
“I can guarantee the 2028 Games will be a lot different,” Rickard told Xinhua.
“For one, look to China to be the primary competition against the perennial US sports juggernaut,” said Rickard, a collegiate long-distance swimmer.
In 1984, China finished fourth with 15 golds and 32 medals overall. In the 2016 Olympics, China finished second behind America (121) with 70 medals.
“China’s Olympic medal totals will continue to climb with each Olympic Games,” predicted retired history professor John Yee.
“Just look at China’s population of 1.3 billion people and figure it out. Sooner or later they will become the world leader in sports as well as everything else,” Yee told Xinhua.
Monday’s announcement ended a contentious and tumultuous process to nail down the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Game venues. The 2020 Games will be held in Tokyo.
Boston was the top American city vying for the Games until its bid collapsed two years ago over concerns about use of taxpayer cash.
IOC President Thomas Bach’s homeland of Germany also withdrew due to funding reforms he helped draft in 2020 to make hosting more streamlined and cost effective after the lavish 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
Under the terms of the deal announced Monday, the IOC will advance about $2 billion to the Los Angeles organising committee “to recognise the extended planning period and to increase youth sports programs leading up to the Games”.
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson called the agreement a “win-win-win scenario”.
The opportunity to host the Games “is a golden occasion further strengthening Los Angeles – not just through bricks and mortar, but through new opportunities for our communities to watch, play and benefit from sport”, Wesson said.
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