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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Third Time Is A Charm

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The city of Los Angeles has hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games, but only pool swimming events were contested in those Games.

With Boston stepping down and Los Angeles taking the mantle of the U.S. Olympic Committee candidate city for the 2024 Games, Los Angeles has the opportunity and responsibility to host the Olympics for the third time. Los Angeles is pitted against the cities of Rome, Hamburg, Paris, and Budapest in contention for 2024 host site.

If Los Angeles wins the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad will have a wide choice of open water swimming venues.

While nearby Castaic Lake is the frequent site of USA Swimming national open water swimming championship events, and Long Beach's Marine Stadium hosted national championships (see below) and the rowing events in the previous Olympics, Southern California is more known for its coastline.

With Catalina Island visible from over 100 southland beaches and the dynamic unpredictability of the ocean, we are hopeful that the organizing committee selects the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course from one of these salt water possibilities.

While beaches like Malibu are located on prime Pacific Ocean coastline popular among movie stars, media moguls, entertainment executives and surfers, the ideal location has plenty of parking along wide stretches of white sand beaches and scenic piers with a history of hosting events with vast numbers of spectators.

Beaches like Huntington Beach [shown above] and Manhattan Beach have hosted tens of thousands of spectators at major surfing contests and beach volleyball tournaments. Cities like Long Beach and Newport Beach have hosted massive numbers of spectators for sailing events and cities like Laguna Beach and Hermosa Beach have long hosted seaside events that have drawn huge crowd.

Each of these cities have great piers, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, waves and dynamic ocean conditions, and access to literally hundreds of thousands of water craft and thousands of knowledgeable watermen and waterwomen who would love to volunteer. Each of these cities would be a great host for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

Video above shows Fran Crippen outsprinting his American and Canadian rivals, including Chip Peterson, Andrew Gemmell, Alex Meyer, and Richard Weinberger to win the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships in Long Beach's Marine Stadium.

Update to story: The influential Casey Wasserman, one of the chairmen of the LA24 bid committee, has stated that the Games will be as compact as possible, which may indicate that Olympic venues in Orange County or anywhere outside of Los Angeles County may not be considered.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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