Casey Wasserman To IOC: For The Good of The Games, L.A. Must Go First
LA 2024 Chair Casey Wasserman published an essay on Friday arguing the IOC's proposal to award the '24 and '28 Games simultaneously is fine -- if L.A. goes first. In his most extensive remarks yet on the rapidly evolving landscape of the head-to-head race with Paris, Wasserman argued the IOC needs L.A. now. If the IOC chooses Paris, which he called “more of the same,” the Olympics' dwindling popularity with young demos and potential bid cities will only worsen, he wrote. “LA2024’s unique offer to the Olympic movement -- overwhelming public support, zero-risk budget, a proven Olympic legacy and unparalleled connectivity with youth around the world isn’t timeless,” Wasserman wrote on Medium.com. “Therefore, it must be activated now to give LA 2024 and the IOC seven years to help stabilize the Olympic world. We fear that the Olympic movement’s current detractors will be emboldened by a choice for 2024 other than LA, because only LA offers a true example for repeatable Olympic success for future host cities.” The essay was also published by Sport Intern, a newsletter in Germany and widely read in elite international sport circles. Since it became clear the IOC is seriously considering a joint award, both cities have adapted their messaging. Earlier this month, Paris '24 Chair Tony Estanguet staked a categorical position that Paris will not host the '28 Games, something Wasserman stopped short of saying. "The 2024/2028 strategy under consideration by the IOC is precisely the type of new thinking that the Movement needs,” Wasserman said. “But, it only works if the IOC chooses the right 2024 city -- the city that brings new ideas and new solutions to the Games -- not more of the same." The final vote on the ’24 Games is scheduled for Sept. 13. However, the IOC expects to hear more from a working group evaluating the possibility of a joint award by July.