Trusteeship members and Founding LA84 Foundation Board Members Yvonne Burke and Maureen Kindel and Trusteeship member and President & CEO LA84, Renata Simril, invited their Trusteeship sisters to a great panel conversation at LA84 in Los Angeles. Much was discussed but specifically the legacy of the Olympics in Los Angeles and the future 2028 Olympics.
We began our evening enjoying a summer cocktail in the courtyard of the historic Brett House with lovely music playing in the background. After cocktails we then dined in the Olympic Lounge (formerly known as the library) and took a peek at their vast Olympic collection.
After dinner we met Olympians, Gary Hall, Jr. and Trusteeship member Anita L. DeFrantz, who were interviewed by noted Olympic journalist, Alan Abrahamson, about their ties to LA84, their Olympic lives and their involvement in bringing the Olympics back to Los Angeles in 2028. This was a fascinating summer conversation program and all there enjoyed it immensely.
Topics discussed by the panel:
Play equity gap — The playing field is not currently equal for young people to play sports. The immense costs to parents and families to facilitate their child to play sport is extraordinary and way beyond a normal household’s income. That is where LA84 steps in for the youth of Los Angeles, they help fund youth sport where it is needed.
Anita touched on the Olympics boycott in 1980 that was held in Russia and she’s still mad that she couldn’t go.
1984 Olympics were a huge inspiration to Gary in laying the foundation of his Olympic goals.
Anita: What did you remember the most: Opening ceremony. Equestrian. Soccer. Spending the whole day with Tom Bradly and walking around the entire Olympic Village. Torch relay.
5 rings are the most recognizable on earth.
Gary: When did you know you’d be good at swimming: The summer after his 16th year. Had to do it by himself and his father was a big deal but he had to do it himself.
Anita: Shared about living in the Olympic Village and respecting one another and Everyone there is special and not everyone is going to win. The dining room was more of an equal playing field. North and South Korea dinned together in the dining room everyday in the Village and no one saw that. It is very very special in the Village.
Gary: In 2000 he was in a tie with Anthony (Tony) Irvin in the 50 freestyle. 16 years later Tony comes back as the oldest man on the swim team and won a gold medal in Rio. Amazing.
Alan, who co-authored a book with Michael Phelps: Michael didn’t think he’d beat Mark Spitz record in Beijing.
Anita: 1 of 4 women on the 15 person executive committee.
47 % women in Rio.
LA84 started with $93 million.
88% of LA wanted the Olympics. 15,000 Olympians live in SoCal.
‘32 and ‘84 were LA Olympics. Peter Ueberroth changed how Olympics we’re produced as far as obtaining funding.
What should the legacy of 2028 games be? Olympic Blvd was named after the 1932 Olympics. Currently, LA doesn’t have to build anything here for the 2028 Olympics because our infrastructure is already built. Legacy will be human and not just the buildings.