When Michael Johnson was approached to create his own logo for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, he focused on the color gold. Of course.
Johnson is one of the first 26 people whose personal LA 2028 emblems were unveiled Tuesday.
The Olympic logo is unlike any in history — a foundation of a black L, 2 and 8 with an A of personal choice and design.
There are infinite possible logos.
“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”
NBC’s peacock-themed logo was unveiled on TODAY on Wednesday morning.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) September 2, 2020
Johnson made his A all gold, a testament to his Olympic resume — four gold medals. No silver, no bronze, as he pointed out to a TV camera on his victory lap of his last individual Olympic race in Sydney in 2000.
“Focus was one of the elements that we tried incorporate into my A and of course gold,” Johnson said. “When I think about the Olympics and my own journey and experience with the Games, I was always focused, honestly, on winning gold medals.”
Others emblems included those from gymnast Gabby Douglas, sprinter Allyson Felix, swimmer Simone Manuel, soccer player Alex Morgan, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Paralympic track and field athletes Scout Bassett and Lex Gillette and actress Reese Witherspoon.
The first 26 included Olympians, Paralympians, future hopefuls for the Games and various types of artists.
Felix’s logo was inspired by her Los Angeles roots.
“The culture of sports and excellence is something I grew up with in LA,” she said. “I grew up a Trojan fan, a Lakers fan, a Dodgers fan.”
The Olympic & Paralympic Games are coming home. My sanctuary, the city that raised me – Los Angeles 💙 Today the @LA28 Games are fueling a co-creation movement by sharing their platform to power so many unique stories. Excited to share my story today! #LA28Creator #LA28 pic.twitter.com/CX3DpyLXlN
— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) September 1, 2020
The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.
The last time two Olympic hosts were determined at once was in 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded. Paris and LA will join London as the only cities to host the Olympics three times.
The U.S. will host its first Olympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting an Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.
The process to create the emblem began about 18 months ago. The decision to go with infinite options was designed in part to stay relevant for the next eight years. Usually, Olympic host cities are chosen seven years in advance.
“We struggled for a while with this tension between traditional emblems, in all of sports, which are static, and LA, which is a dynamic and changing city, and a journey that’s eight years long,” Wasserman said.
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