Just like a rivalry can help transform two good swimmers into great swimmers as each pushes the other to do better and earn the right to stand on top of the podium, so too have LA and Paris pushed one another to draft some of the most thoughtful and creative Olympics bids in history.
After separate two-day inspections, the IOC had numerous positive things to say for each candidate’s ability to host the Olympic Games. Central to each city’s bid are items promoting “creativity and strong legacy focus.” While each iteration of the Olympic Games is branded differently, true creativity within any city’s bid is only evidenced by its legacy. LA and Paris have both hosted the Olympics twice, and in the time between (1984 for LA and 1924 for Paris) both have been able to witness the shortcoming of many other hosts. Not wanting to repeat the mistakes of other, more recent hosts, the City of Angels and the City of Lights have focused intensely on creating a profitable, inclusive, and sustainable legacy within each of their Olympic bids.
Though LA and Paris are pitted against one another, they are promoting similar ideas and core values. Paris 2024 has adopted the mantra “Paris 2024. Made for sharing.” Or, alternatively: “Sharing. This is what we were made for.” Los Angeles has taken on the simple slogan “Follow the Sun.” Slogans, however, are far from an adequate signal of how an Olympic Games will go, much less how those Games will leave the city once the flame is extinguished.
Both LA and Paris intend to build as little as possible. In the case of LA, absolutely nothing. That is not to say that the Games would not cost the city anything; rather that there would be no extra investment in infrastructure that might go unused once the Games conclude. Paris, meanwhile, plans to use existing venues for its sporting events, but does plan to construct an Olympic Village–a concept LA pioneered in 1932 when it hosted the Games for the first time, though did not use itself in 1984.
Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 co-chairman, has said repeatedly that the 2024 Games is about creating a “legacy for the future,” by crafting a green proposal that aims to slash carbon emissions compared to those of London 2012 and Rio 2016. Additionally, Paris 2024 has said that it aims to be the most inclusive Games ever. On this latter point, LA, challenges Paris with its own ideas as to why the City of Angels will be more suited to making people from all walks of life feel welcome.
LA 2024 vice-chair Candace Cable recently spoke of LA’s commitment to the Paralympic community and LA 2024’s effort to create “sporting and career opportunities” for those with impairments. LA, meanwhile, was recently described as the most financially responsible to host the 2024 Games due to the extensive budgeting and contingency funds inherent in its proposal, and its ability to combat doping with the local WADA-accredited anti-doping lab at UCLA.
The IOC is expected to make its decision on September 13th, 2017 in Lima, Peru, as to who will host the 2024 Games. The IOC has also considered awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Games at its summit in Peru, however, both Paris and LA have stated that they are solely focused on hosting the 2024 edition of the Games.