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  1. Los Angeles throws its hat in the ring for 2024 Olympics By Jill Painter, Staff Writer POSTED: 05/14/13, 1:54 PM PDT | UPDATED: ON 05/31/2013 Los Angeles wants the 2024 Olympic Games. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa informed the United States Olympic Committee on Thursday that the city is interested in hosting the Olympics for a third time. L.A. previously hosted the 1932 and 1984 games. Last month, the USOC sent a letter to at least 30 cities gauging their interest in hosting the games. Los Angeles is believed to be the first city to throw its hat in the ring. David Simon, president of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, is confident Los Angeles has what it takes to host again. "You can certainly talk about a history and tradition when it comes to the Olympics that's really unmatched by few other cities in the world, and certainly not in the U.S. because we've hosted it twice," Simon said. "We have a wealth of existing facilities and not just facilities that existed when we hosted in '84. For the most part, there are existing facilities, but back then we didn't have Staples Center, Home Depot, Honda Center, and now you've got the Galen Center. We really have a lot of new buildings and there's even talk of some more in the coming years." Such as a new NFL stadium. AEG has submitted downtown plans for a stadium, and Ed Roski's Majestic Realty is ready to build one in the City of Industry. Last year, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution in support of a 2024 bid. About six weeks ago, Villaraigosa sent a letter to the USOC, co-signed by AEG president Tim Leiweke, actor Tom Hanks, Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson, former Olympic swimmer Janet Evans and others, expressing interest in the bid. This week's letter from Villaraigosa was meant to confirm the city's "enthusiastic interest" in bidding for 2024. "The exciting part for us is that we found out some weeks ago that the USOC is embarking on a process to pick a city," Simon said. "They passed on 2020 and we weren't sure, until recently, if they were interested in 2024." Woodland Hills resident Beverly Shaffer, 84, was a big part of the 1984 Olympics and has fond memories of the event. She has a clock in her living room that has the 1984 Olympic Games logo and two goblets on her dining room table. And she is quick to point out how lucrative the Olympics were for the city - to the tune of more than $200 million as the first Summer Games to turn a profit. "We have some nice facilities because of it," said Shaffer, a track official and volunteer for the 1984 Olympics. "Having so much money come in was wonderful, and there were a lot of organizations that benefited from some of the profits. A lot went to youth organizations. We didn't have any problems with traffic or any other real problems. I thought it was a favorable thing for Los Angeles." Shaffer's husband, Stuart, was also a volunteer and track official for the games. Beverly Shaffer was on committees that met before the games, including the torch committee in which they planned its route. She also volunteered in the media center. "Everyone was hospitable," Shaffer said. "It was a wonderful experience for all - volunteers, people who lived here and incoming visitors." In 1984, the Olympics kicked off in memorable fashion when Rafer Johnson lit the torch in the opening ceremonies and Carl Lewis won four gold medals. As for what's next, Los Angeles must wait. After all, the host city won't be selected until 2017. "They told us it will be less elaborate and less expensive in terms of times and resources than the last couple of bid cycles," Simon said. "They haven't spelled out what that means, but they made a decision to do it in a new way. Evidently, they're prepared to take up to two years. This is the first step in what is undoubtedly a long journey." http://www.dailynews.com/20130307/los-angeles-throws-its-hat-in-the-ring-for-2024-olympics
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