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    Mayor Foster, LB VIPs Welcome Olympic Medalists & Supporters Of 2016 L.A./LB Olympic Bid

    (Feb. 15, 2007) -- Displaying visible enthusiasm for efforts to have Los Angeles host -- and Long Beach provide venues for -- the 2016 Olympic Games, LB Mayor Bob Foster, local officials and VIPs welcomed Olympic medalists and leaders of the "Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games" to Long Beach on February 15.

    Those attending the breakfast event at the Hyatt Regency/Long Beach included nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Spitz (at right in photo with Mayor Foster, City Manager Gerry Miller and Sea Festival Ass'n executive Chris Pook).

    Photo source: City of LB

    Photo source: City of LB
    Five time Olympic medalist (four-time Gold medalist) Janet Evans shares a laugh with Mayor Foster and LB Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO Steve Goodling.

    Also present were two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Pat McCormick, and Barry Sanders (chairman) and David Simon (president) of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.

    Mayor Foster [not an Olympic medalist but a championship-level Little League coach in the 1980s] welcomed the athletes and commended supporters for their efforts to bring the world to L.A.-LB in less than ten years.

    Photo source: City of LB

    To host the 2016 summer Olympics, L.A.-LB must first be selected from among potential U.S. sites by the U.S. Olympic Committee...and then from among worldwide competitors by the Int'l Olympic Committee.

    The 2004 Olympics in Greece -- the first since the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks -- incorporated unprecedented security measures.

    Twenty years earlier, amid support from then-L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and organizer Peter Ueberroth, L.A. hosted the 1984 Olympic games...with LB providing several event venues: archery at El Dorado Park; fencing at the LB Convention Center; volleyball at the LB Arena; and yachting at the LB Shoreline Marina/Harbor.

    L.A. was previously the site of the 1932 games.

    The Int'l Olympic Committee chose Nazi-run Berlin to host the 1936 games. [Olympic organizers also selected fascist Tokyo to host the 1940 games, which didn't occur because WWII got in the way.]

    Forty years later, Olympic officials chose Soviet-era Moscow to host the 1980 Olympics (boycotted at President Carter's urging to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). Four years later, Soviet bloc regimes (excluding Romania) boycotted the 1984 L.A. Olympics claiming security concerns [after human rights activists said they'd encourage defections.]

    The Int'l Olympic Committee selected Beijing to host the 2008 Olympic games, a decision opposed by a number of human rights and pro-democracy groups.

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