Los Angeles 2024
LA 2024

LA 2024 Olympic bid budget one-quarter the size of Tokyo 2020

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The Los Angeles bid committee for the 2024 Olympics released details of a nearly unheard-of budget plan Friday, insisting $5.3 billion will be enough to cover both operational and infrastructure costs for an Olympics that won’t need any new, permanent stadiums.

The cost would be less than half that of the recently completed Rio Games and about a quarter of Tokyo’s ballooning budget for the 2020 Olympics.

It also defies convention in the Olympic bidding business, in which cities traditionally deal with two figures — one for operational costs and one for “non-Olympics” costs that cover capital and infrastructure.

Bid officials say they can do this because more than 30 venues already exist in the L.A. area and those that don’t will be built as temporary structures. The bid folded in $1.2 billion for infrastructure, which would primarily be used for temporary venues and to bring existing ones up to Olympic standards.

“If LA is chosen to host the 2024 Games, the IOC does not have to worry about changing or evolving budgets, shifting competition venues or uncertainty about the delivery of the Games,” bid chairman Casey Wasserman said.

Los Angeles is going against Paris and Budapest, Hungary. Preliminary figures for Paris called for an infrastructure budget of $4.5 billion and operational costs of $4.8 billion, with 95 percent of the city’s proposed venues either temporary or already in existence. The next deadline for cities to submit candidate files, which will include updated budget figures, is Feb. 3. The Games will be awarded next September.

Gone from Los Angeles’ budget was a one-time projected surplus of $161 million. In its place is a $491 million contingency fund that would cover cost overruns.

Wasserman said all the figures are conservative and the numbers come in low because no major construction projects are needed. Los Angeles has already committed to more than $200 billion in transit and airport projects, regardless of whether it wins the Olympic bid. Often, projects such as those get approved in conjunction with an Olympic bid.

In providing a $5.3 billion budget, Los Angeles is playing to the International Olympic Committee’s attempt to keep costs — and building — in check; decades of runaway spending have greatly reduced interest in hosting.

Rio de Janeiro is expected to come in with a bill of between $10 billion and $12 billion for its recently completed Olympics.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles released its figures only hours after an IOC vice president called Tokyo’s $20 billion budget unacceptable. A government panel in Japan has said costs could reach $30 billion, more than four times the initial estimate.

Wasserman said the IOC will not be surprised when it sees all items wrapped into a single L.A. budget.

“The process has been very open and transparent,” he said.

The budget was also being independently reviewed by the accounting firm KPMG, which was expected to release its findings later Friday.

The bid’s top revenue sources are domestic sponsorship ($1.93 billion), ticketing ($1.47 billion) and IOC contributions from broadcasting ($855 million) and sponsorship ($453 million).

VIDEO: Los Angeles Olympic bid venues

Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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