Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid chiefs on Wednesday vowed to put athletes at the forefront of the Games if the Californian city wins the right to stage the sporting spectacular.
Bid chiefs said that Los Angeles’s readiness to stage the Olympics, using existing or already planned venues, meant more resources could be devoted to delivering an enhanced athlete experience.
A total of USD 50 million had been set aside to “help athletes throughout the Games experience” officials said as a three-day visit by the International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission got underway.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that every Olympic athlete would be given two free tickets to the competition they were competing in.
“We’ve really tried to put the emphasis on taking the stress out of the athletes’ lives,” Garcetti said. “We’ve spoken to a lot of athletes. So many of them said ‘I’m worried about mum and dad, trying to get people into the event’. Those who come from wealthier nations might be able to afford some of those things, others less so.
“One athlete said that her parents would probably have come a couple more times to the Olympics if something like that had been available.”
Secure areas within the Olympic zone where athletes could invite friends and family would also be created.
LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said the plans were a direct result of the city’s reliance of existing venues. “When you’re not burdened with the delivery of facilities, you have both time and money to dedicate to things like the athlete experience,” he said.
That would allow LA 2024 to offer tailored photo albums for each athlete taking part, he added.
“One of the things we heard from athletes was ‘I compete, but I don’t see video or pictures of it’. So we are going to produce a photo book for every athlete in the competition,” Wasserman said.
“It’s the nice touches that you can do like that so that every athlete gets an incredible experience.”