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2028 Los Angeles Olympics; Worth the Wait?

August 1st, 2017 · No Comments · Olympics, Paris

It’s final. Well, as soon as the rubber-stamp approval of International Olympic Committee voting members next month. But the top guys have agreed with the two cities that bid for the 2024 Games.

The 2024 Olympics go to Paris.

The 2028 Summer Games go to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles will get $1.8 billion in cash to help cover the gap of an extra four years of being an Organizing Committee between “award” and “event”. Because, yes, 2028 is a long, long way off. (Though we won’t feel the same way when it gets here.)

What will or could happen between now and then?

–Five Olympic Games. 1) Korea’s 2018 Winter; 2) Tokyo’s 2020 Summer; 3) Beijing’s 2022 Winter; 4) Paris’s 2024 Summer; 5) Wherever the 2026 Winter Games end up. (Kazakhstan, Turkey and Canada are among those thinking about it.)

–Three World Cup soccer tournaments. 1) Russia 2018; 2) Qatar 2022 (still have trouble writing that); 3) Someone or Other 2026, probably the U.S. with input from Canada and Mexico.

(Just now noticed the U.S. will be reprising Brazil’s double-barrel Big Events of this decade — the World Cup in 2014, the red-ink-drenched Rio Olympics in 2016.

–Eleven Super Bowls, 11 World Series, 11 NBA Finals, 11 NCAA football title games, etc. Scads of annual events. (Good news: A few competitions are biennial: So, “only” five Ryder Cups.)

To be sure, we should note that Los Angeles did not set some sort of global sports record with it’s “see you in 11 years!” award.

That falls to the 2022 World Cup. It was December of 2010 when Qatar bought (uh, was awarded) the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in November and December. That was a 12 year advance warning.

All of us can add 11 years to our age and try to take a guess at what we will be doing or where we will be, when the L.A. Games go down. (I would have missed by miles, trying to answer those questions 11 years ago.)

What else?

If we figure the world’s top female gymnasts tend to be 16 or 17, the stars of L.A. are 5 or 6 right now.

Children yet unborn certainly will be old enough to remember fondly the L.A. 2028 Games.

Only a handful of current global-elite athletes — barring some sort of not-impossible medical breakthroughs — will still be hanging around, by the time L.A. is staged. And they will be grouped in sports kinder to aging athletes. Sailing, equestrian and the like.

(LeBron James would be 43. Usain Bolt would be 41. Lonzo Ball, however, would be only 30!)

How many cycles of new, faster, then banned swimsuits might we expect between now and 2028? How many more tweaked lists of performance-enhancing drugs will we see? Or will everything be legal, in 2028?

We will have seen two more U.S. presidential elections, with a third only a few months off at the time of L.A. 2028. (Robert Mugabe will still have an iron grip on Zimbabwe, at the age of 104.)

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles and a driving force in the bid, will have been involved with three, four, five elections for this, that or the other.

That is perhaps the biggest concern of the long wait before Los Angeles gets its Olympics. That those who were most enthused about it very possibly could be off doing something else — or not around at all.

Certainly, Los Angeles is known for doing good work, in the Olympic vein, from 1932 and 1984, good games, brought in under budget, etc., but so much can change between now and then.

What will Los Angeles and surrounding areas look like, in 2028? Will it have recovered from the big quake that seems oh-so-likely between now and then? What will traffic on the freeways be like? Even worse than now?

Will Staples Center still seem so attractive, as it prepares to mark 30 years of operation? And what of the Coliseum, which will be in its second century?

It is difficult to get fired up for this, difficult for organizers to maintain some sort of momentum, difficult to hit moving targets as things are built or break.

It probably will be fun. It probably will go off well enough.

We will find out soon. If by “soon” we are thinking “the lives or tortoises”.


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