As the 2016 Olympics came to a close Sunday night, there are number of indelible images that will forever signify Rio 2016. Gymnast Simone Biles tumbling through the air on her way to a record four gold medals. Swimmer Katie Ledecky shattering world records in a class all her own. Michael Phelps coming out of retirement after finding joy in his sport again to claim an additional six medals for himself and the United States.
We also saw the Olympic spirit in less heralded moments. The bravery of the first ever IOC Refugee Team; the grace of the American and New Zealand runners who fell into each other and then urged one another across the finish line long after the race was over; the strength of the German gymnast who battled through a pommel horse routine with an injured Achilles in the hope he could give his team the chance to advance.
The 558 American athletes brought home a total of 121 medals, 46 of which were gold, to top our previous high of 110 in Beijing in 2008. Athletes from UCLA and USC brought home 30 medals. The golden state and athletes from around the world made their mark in Rio. We salute you all. Thanks for the memories.
Per tradition, the closing ceremonies included the passing of the Olympic flag from Brazil to the 2020 host Yuriko Koike, the first female Governor of Tokyo. As Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared on the field dressed as Nintendo’s Super Mario to unveil the 2020 logo, it was exciting to imagine the show that L.A. could put on for the world in 2024.
The eyes of the LA 2024 bid committee now turn to Lima, Peru where in September 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the 2024 host from four candidates - Los Angeles, Paris, Budapest and Rome. Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA2024 leadership spent the last two weeks in Rio, making the case for bringing the Olympics back to Los Angeles.
Locally, we will spend the next year making progress on plans to modernize and expand our transportation infrastructure. Private investment will upgrade the Coliseum and begin building two new stadiums for football and soccer teams that can be utilized during the Olympics. And as the Sacramento legislative year comes to a close, the Chamber is advocating for SB 1465, authored by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, which would demonstrate the entire State of California’s commitment to LA 2024.
It is exciting to think about a closing ceremony in Tokyo on Aug. 9, 2020 in which Los Angeles, California and U.S. officials announce to the world “See you in Los Angeles in 2024.”
And that's The Business Perspective.
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