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Los Angeles want 1980s revival as they plan future Olympic bid

When L.A last hosted the Games, Ronald Reagan was US President, Russians boycotted and Like A Virgin topped the charts.

Carl Lewis celebrates his 100m Gold in 1984.
Carl Lewis celebrates his 100m Gold in 1984.
Image: ©EMPICS Peter Robinson

TWO-TIME OLYMPIC HOSTS Los Angeles plans to bid on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and the city’s effort has some major celebrity backers.

The American West Coast metropolis, which hosted the 1932 Games and the 1984 Olympics that were boycotted by the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries, expressed its interest in a letter to the US Olympic Committee (USOC).

“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I am pleased to confirm our enthusiastic interest in bidding to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Villaraigosa said in the letter, published by the Los Angeles Times.

“We are proud of our city’s sports heritage and tradition, and we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympic Games back to the United States,” he added in the letter to Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the USOC.

Ireland has a successful Olympic association with L.A. Bob Tisdall and Pat O’Callaghan won gold medals for athletic pursuits in 1932.

In 1984, John Treacy put in a superb marathon run to claim a silver medal for Ireland.

Treacy breaks clear of Great Britain’s Charlie Spedding in ’84. (© INPHO\Allsport)

Tom Hanks and Disney

The USOC wrote to the mayors of 35 cities in February asking if they wanted to be considered to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Villaraigosa replied on Monday, the Times reported.

His reply was accompanied by a letter from the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, signed by Disney chief Robert Iger, basketball legend Magic Johnson and Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, among others.

The host for the 2024 Olympics will be chosen in 2017. The last US city to host the Summer Olympics was Atlanta in 1996. Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002.

New York applied to host the 2012 Games, but its bid was scuppered when the planned Olympic Stadium site was nixed. Chicago bid for the 2016 Games, but was knocked out in the first round of International Olympic Committee voting.

Villaraigosa, who took office as LA mayor in 2005, will stand down after May elections to choose his successor. He cannot stand for re-election after two terms.

- © AFP,2013

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