LA Has Blessing In Disguise with the 2028 Olympics
Los Angeles will soon be granted the chance only one other city has ever had before: to host the Olympic Games three times. For a city that has shined its brightest lights for decades, a worldwide phenomenon known as the Olympic Games is a golden opportunity for the “City of Angels” to shine again.
The city of Los Angeles is slated to host the Summer Olympics in 2028, as part of an agreement between Los Angeles, Paris, and the International Olympic Committee to decide who hosts the Summer Olympics going forward. Paris was the favorite to host the Olympics in 2024, as it was deemed more Olympic-ready than Los Angeles. While Los Angeles was disappointed by not receiving the games sooner, it serves as a blessing in disguise to delay their extravagant showcase by four years.
The IOC is counting on both Paris and Los Angeles to set the bar high for cities around the world looking to put together a successful Olympics. As two of the most important cities around the world, they will join London as the only cities to host the Olympics three times. Paris played host to the world games in 1900 and 1924, while Los Angeles brought the planet together in 1932 and again in 1984.
No city, past, present, or future, has had more time to prepare for hosting an Olympics than Los Angeles will have starting this week. After the IOC confirmed Los Angeles as the host of the 2028 Olympics on Wednesday in its annual session at Lima, Peru, the city has 11 years to prepare to host the games. Every host city since 2000 has had seven years to plan. Before that, it was six. The first Olympics in 1896 were awarded to Athens with only two years’ notice.
Just think about the potential disasters that loomed over Athens and Rio de Janeiro upon their hosting duties.
Athens had to figure out a way to modernize itself, while still expressing its ancient history for the 2004 Olympics. They were so far behind schedule that the IOC threatened to take away their oppurtunity to host the Olympics, an event that depicted its ancient culture from its birthplace. After the threat, they worked hard to put together a beautifully renovated Olympic Stadium that captured the modern era in a nation still embroiled in the past.
Brazil’s second largest city used its famous Maracana Stadium as the centerpiece of last year’s event.
However, since both Brazil and Athens both had to comply with standards for many athletic disciplines beyond their countries’ interests, they had to build new venues just for athletes around the world to come and compete, and each had disastrous aftermaths.
For example, the 2004 Games played a big part in causing Greece’s debt crisis in 2010, where the country had to spend nine billion euros on just the Olympics alone, but they had to spend even more money just to be part of the European Union. Because of the debt crisis, many of the venues used for the Olympics were abandoned or remain unused.
Meanwhile, Rio is now a city of debt, still trying to pay off its debts and taxes to the country and to the IOC. The country is in the midst of its worst financial crisis, and the IOC said in July they have no interest in alleviating Rio from the $40 million of debt they owe just from the Olympics alone.
But for Los Angeles, most of the venues to be used for the 2028 Games already exist. Of the 27 venues to be used 11 years from now, only three of them are not complete.
As a result, the city’s budget does not need to be that big, and can spend more money on marketing and making renovations where needed to enhance the Olympic experience.
The city should figure to have many of its venues operating full-time after the Olympics in 11 years’ time, assuming all its sports teams stay. The new football stadium, set to host the area’s two NFL teams, the Rams and the Chargers, can also be used as a media and entertainment hub. It also allows the city to consider making any renovations to their existing venues.
LA can also expand its transportation systems without much time-oriented pressure. Just imagine how much of a headache any setback to its transportation systems would have been if the city hosted the 2024 Games. The IOC also gave Los Angeles financial concessions, which includes more sponsorship money directly from the IOC.
What should be considered a bonus about the city’s bid is that some of its ambassadors are some of the greatest athletes to ever compete in the Olympics. One ambassador is gymnast Simone Biles, who captivated the world by winning four gold medals at last year’s Olympics in Rio. She will only be 31 when the Olympics return to the U.S.
Magic Johnson, who was part of the “Dream Team” at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, has influenced a winning culture, not only as a five-time NBA champion, but also as an executive for the Lakers and as a leader of the Dodgers’ ownership group. He serves as a vice chair of the LA 2028 committee.
Long distance swimmer Janet Evans, who won three gold medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, serves as the Athletes’ director for LA’s Olympic committee. She has travelled all over the world to campaign for her city’s bid and vision of the next decade.
Angela Ruggiero, also a native of Los Angeles, is the vice chair of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and a chief strategy officer for LA’s bid. She is one of the most famous women’s ice hockey players ever, and was a part of Team USA’s gold medal hockey team at the Nagano 1998 Winter Games.
What other countries should be considering is how the world responded after the last Los Angeles Games. The previous three Olympics were filled with controversy.
The 1972 Games in Munich were overshadowed by acts of terror from Palestinian extremists.
The 1976 Olympics in Montreal were a financial disaster for the city, and many nations from Africa boycotted those games because of Canada’s refusal to ban New Zealand from the games because of the nation’s rugby team touring Africa.
Nearly half of the world boycotted the 1980 Games in Moscow because of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan the year prior. Then after the world saw Los Angeles display its successful games, six nations each bid for the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, increasing the interest of the event after a decade of turmoil and uncertainty in the Olympic Movement.
Even though it is far off, the City of Angels has a great chance to help regain Olympic interest around the world with the 2028 Olympics.