WOA salutes Olympians at the heart of the successful Paris and LA bids

20 | 9 | 2017

Olympians have played a significant part in the success of the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic bid campaigns. The future Olympic host cities were confirmed at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru last week as part of a historic decision by the IOC to award two consecutive Games at once.

Across both campaigns Olympians took on leading roles, ensuring the athlete voice was firmly embedded at the heart of the bids.

Olympic champion, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and former WOA Executive Committee member Angela Ruggiero (Ice Hockey), acted in the role of Chief Strategist for Los Angeles, while the Paris bid was led by Chair Tony Estanguet (Canoe Slalom), a triple Olympic gold medallist and Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Four-time gold medal winner Janet Evans (Swimming) acted as Vice-Chair for LA 2028, working alongside U.S. IOC member and Olympic bronze medallist Anita de Frantz (Rowing) in her role as Senior Adviser for Legacy. For Paris, Olympians occupying key positions also included French IOC member and Olympic champion Guy Drut (Athletics); Paris 2024 Chief Executive Etienne Thobois (Badminton); double Olympic medallist and Paris 2024 Sports Director Jean-Philippe Gatien (Table Tennis); and Olympic champion Thierry Rey (Judo), a special advisor to the bid.

Both bids also established Athletes’ Committees, which were firmly involved in the development of the projects and whose vision and ideas helped inform the respective concepts, eventually resulting in the historic double award.

Speaking from the IOC Session in Lima WOA President, Joel Bouzou, said:

“Pleasingly these Olympic bids have been developed for athletes by athletes meaning that the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games are on track to fulfill one of the key pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, that is, to ensure athletes remain at the heart of the Olympic movement.

“It is especially heartening that the Olympians leading the bids have been able to take the skills and experience they have honed competing at the very highest levels, and use it to support the future development of sport in their countries and the wider Olympic movement. I look forward to following the development of the two projects over the coming years and enjoying the culmination of their collective hard work and ambition in 2024 and 2028.”  

Image credit: IOC