NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - The mayor of Los Angeles has notified the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) that the city is interested in bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
Los Angeles has hosted the Games twice before, in 1932 and 1984, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the USOC the city was keen to try for a third time.
"On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I am pleased to confirm our enthusiastic interest in bidding to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Villaraigosa wrote in a letter to the USOC.
"We are proud of our city's sports heritage and tradition, and we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympic Games back to the United States."
The U.S. has not hosted the Summer Olympics since 1996 and did not even apply for the 2020 Games after Chicago was overlooked for the 2016 edition.
The USOC had long been at odds with the International Olympic Committee, which votes to decide where the Games will be held, over broadcast revenues, but the organisations resolved their differences last year.
Although the USOC has yet to formally announce a bid for 2024, it sent letters to the mayors of 35 large cities last month asking for expressions of interest.
While LA is the only city to formally throw its hat in the ring, several other cities, including New York, are also expected to be interested.
Only Chicago and Detroit have ruled out a bid.
The USOC is scheduled to hold a media teleconference on Friday, with the topic of a possible 2024 bid sure to be on the agenda.
The next Summer Olympics will be held in Rio in 2016. The IOC will announce the host city of the 2020 Games later this year with Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo the final three candidates.
The decision on the 2024 host will not be made until 2017. (Reporting by Julian Linden, editing by Ed Osmond)
The 201.5 meters
Eddie Tolan followed up his narrow win in the 100 meters with a win in the 200 meters. Both times Ralph Metcalfe (unlabeled runner) finished third. After the race, officials discovered that Metcalfe's lane was 1.5 meters too long. Metcalfe opted not to protest. He would later win gold in 1936 as part of the USA's 4 X 100 meter relay team. Photo dated August 4, 1932. <em>(Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
In an era before television, the visuals for the rowing events at the 1932 Olympic Games wasn't as important as it is now. Then again, in 1932, people associated oil derricks with prosperity. This photo was taken at the Long Beach Marine Stadium. For 1984, Olympic rowing moved up to the much more pastoral Lake Casitas.<em>(Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library) </em>
The less glamorous part of the Olympics
Unsurprisingly, the Olympic Grand Auditorium was the site of the 1932 Olympic boxing competition. This newspaper photo shows Canadian gold medalist, Horace "Lefty" Gwynne, taking on Germany's Hans Ziglarski (right) in the bantamweight final. <em>(Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library) </em>
Not an intimate setting
Romeo Neri of Italy dominated the men's gymnastics competition in 1932. He won the all-around as well as the parallel bars. Italy won the team all-around as well. Despite the fact that spectators were a long way from the action, the cavernous Memorial Coliseum hosted the gymnastics competition. <em>(Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
From the Coliseum to Iwo Jima
Baron Takeshi Nishi of Japan and his horse Uranus won the gold medal in the show jumping competition, held as one of the last events of the 1932 games. Nishi and Uranus were big hits in Hollywood social circles, especially Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. During World War II, Nishi eventually became a commander in the Japanese Army and died at Iwo Jima. His story was featured in Clint Eastwood's 2006 film <em>Letters from Iwo Jima</em>. <em>(Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
Conquering the Albatross
Perhaps the most exciting race in the swimming competition in 1984 was the 4 X 200 meter freestyle relay. The American team had set a world record in qualifying, but the West German team was a co-favorite, because of the presence of Michael Gross, aka "The Albatross" (because of his 6'7" frame), who had won gold in the 200 meter freestyle. The Germans and Americans battled throughout the race, with the far less publicized Bruce Hayes out-touching Gross by .04 seconds at the end. Both the Americans and Germans broke the world record by over three seconds. In 1990, Hayes competed in the third Gay Games, held in Vancouver, and has gone on to be a prominent spokesperson for gay athletes throughout the world. Photo dated: July 31, 1984. <em>(Photo by Javier Mendoza: Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
During the 1984 Olympic Games, most of the world was focused on Carl Lewis, who won four gold medals with relative ease. However, Edwin Moses may have been the biggest favorite in any event. Moses dominated the relatively obscure 400 meter hurdles, winning gold in 1976, missing out in 1980 because of a boycott, and then wiping out the field in 1984 for what was then his 89th straight win in the finals of the event.<em> (Photo by Paul Chinn: Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
Women finally go the distance
Women had been competing in the Olympics since 1900, but they were never allowed to run in track events longer than 800 meters after 1928 (until 1960, the longest distance was 200 meters). By 1984, women finally were given a marathon of their own. Joan Benoit Samuelson of the USA was the gold medalist, finishing the 26 mile, 385 yard course from Santa Monica City College to the Memorial Coliseum in 2:24.52. <em>Photo by Chris Gulker: Herald-Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library</em>
A happy dude
Not many people in America paid attention to Greco-Roman wrestling, but Jeff Blatnick's gold medal in the Super-Heavyweight class made everyone take notice. Just two years after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, Blatnick took the gold. Interviewed immediately after the match, Blatnick, in tears, said, "I'm a happy dude!" Photo dated: August 3, 1984. <em>(Photo by Paul Chinn: Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
The 1984 men's basketball team at the Olympics was still comprised of collegians. Without the presence of the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia, they had little trouble winning gold. In this photo, Patrick Ewing prepares to swat away a shot from a West German player. <em>(Photo by James Ruebsamen: Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>
The final event
Carlos Lopes of Portugal (wearing 723) runs in the men's marathon which was the final event of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Lopes's time was 2:09:21. <em>(Photo by Chris Gulker: Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)</em>