LOS ANGELES: The president of the IOC wrapped up his tour of the four bid cities for the 2024 Olympic Games with a visit to southern California where he met on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“We have finished our visits to the four candidate cities and therefore you see me very pleased,” said Thomas Bach on Monday. “We have a fascinating competition ahead of us with four cities who can all organize excellent Olympic games in 2024.”
Bach’s visit comes five months after the city was selected as the United States candidate for the international sporting event.
Bach and other IOC top brass toured the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campuses and the Getty Center art museum. They also met with Garcetti, LA 2024 leaders and a number of former US Olympic medal winners.
Los Angeles, which hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984, is competing against Paris, Rome and Budapest for the right to stage the Games.
Bach said it is now up to the bid cities to deliver on their promises.
“It will be up to the different candidates to show their uniqueness and their strength,” Bach said. “We at the IOC can relax and watch this great Olympic competition which is as competitive as an Olympic final, but with one big difference, there is only one medal, the gold medal.
“The four candidates cities from all different angles are embracing the agenda and showing there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are also showing you can be a candidate for the Olympic Games for very different reasons.”
On Sunday night, Bach attended a Los Angeles Lakers game where he exchanged greetings with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, a five-time league champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist who will retire at the end of the season at the age of 37. The Lakers play at Staples Center arena, which is another proposed venue for the Games.
Los Angeles bid officials last week announced they were shelving plans for a $1 billion athletes village and would instead house athletes on the UCLA campus in the western suburb of Westwood.
A media village would be based at USC, near Staples Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is planned as the main venue for the Games.
The IOC will select the host at a meeting in Peru in September 2017.
The United States last hosted a summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.