Magic Johnson has joined Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympics as a vice chairman, organizers announced Wednesday.
“The only thing greater than bringing a sports championship to Los Angeles would be bringing the Olympics back to the best sports town in America,” Johnson said in a press release. “I was here for the 1984 Games, and I saw a city that was united and honored to welcome the world. As a former Olympian, I’m proud to join the LA 2024 team and give them ‘an assist’ in returning the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the United States.”
Trade union official María Elena Durazo also joined the bid as a vice chair. Johnson and Durazo join four-time Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans on the Board of Directors.
Johnson has deep ties to the city of Los Angeles having played for the Lakers from 1979 to 1991 and in 1996. He is also part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
After retiring from the NBA amidst his battle against HIV, Johnson was selected as a member of the 1992 United States Olympic team that won gold in Barcelona. The “Dream Team” went undefeated in eight contests and defeated opponents by an average of 43.8 points per game. Johnson averaged eight points per game in Barcelona.
Los Angeles is looking to bring the Summer Olympics to the United States for the first time since 1996. The city has an advantage in its proposed bid by already having stadiums and infrastructure from the 1984 Summer Olympics in place. Los Angeles also hosted the 1932 Olympics.
The field of candidate cities outside the United States includes Paris, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg, Germany. The International Olympic Committee will announce its selection in Sept. 2017.
- Christopher Chavez