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L.A. County leaders push to host 2016 Olympic marathon trials

October 15, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line at the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials in 2012 in Houston.
Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line at the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials… (Bob Levey, Getty Images )

Seeking to bolster an effort to bring the 2024 summer Olympics to Los Angeles, county leaders on Tuesday voted to support a bid to host the 2016 Olympic marathon trials.

If Los Angeles wins the event, elite athletes would race past city landmarks such as Dodger Stadium, downtown’s L.A. Live entertainment complex and the Coliseum, on March 12, 2016, the day before the city’s annual marathon.

“The marathon course, which will wind its way throughout many of Los Angeles’ most iconic areas, is a splendid showcase of all that this county has to offer,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement after the unanimous vote. “Using Los Angeles as the venue for the U.S. Olympic trials will be an excellent way to promote international competition, world peace and our Olympic bid.”

In September, the board voted to urge the United States’ Olympic Committee to hold the 2024 summer games here and directed county officials to cooperate with a Southern California committee bidding to host the competition. The L.A. City Council has also expressed support for the effort.

This year, the U.S. Olympic Committee reached out to 35 cities to gauge their interest in hosting the 2024 competition. Other cities where political and civic leaders have made moves to host the games include Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington. The national committee will decide whether to submit a bid for one American city in 2015, and then the International Olympic Committee is expected to select the 2024 host city in 2017.

The United States has not hosted a summer games since Atlanta in 1996.


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