Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Future Looks Great Now Through 2028!

Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

On Monday afternoon (July 31), about five big alerts or texts popped up within a two-minute period, with one potential life-influencing message akin to a day in September 1990 when Atlanta won its Olympic bid for 1996.

In the moments of these inbound missives, I was navigating westbound 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan with a friend, the two of us urgently searching for a gas station to replenish a near-empty rental car fuel tank (technically, the first in the series of "alerts" arrived as my travel companion pointed out the illuminated "fuel low" light on the dashboard, and the second urgency-inducing element was the then-imminent conclusion to our interesting weekend of Long Island sightseeing and conversation).

Then, in rapid succession ... 

Alert: "The Mooch" out at White House (whew!)

Text: Family member in hospital (recovering, sort of OK, whew!)

The initial alerts all sort of got blurry after that biggie ... Los Angeles is likely gonna host the 2028 summer Olympics. Amazing! Not entirely surprising given recent news, but an astounding headline that will certainly influence the trajectory of my life and countless others' lives during the next 11 years. 

Congratulations, LA28!

Here's the bid team's refreshed video highlighting so much of what Los Angeles offers as a three-time Olympic host:

Kudos are also due to Paris 2024 -- which will present Les Jeux Magnifique! -- for the city's eminent selection as the Games host on the city's centennial of presenting the 1924 summer Olympiad.

Favorite headline du jour may be from the French Olympic news site

With thanks to the screenwriters for "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" for 21 years ago teaching me the phrase-turned-headline, Les Jeux Sont Fais -- The Game Is Up! (In this case, for Paris' five-tries-for-the-win bidding efforts.)

Here's a peek at Paris 2024's team video showcasing how the City of Lights is, to their bid motto, Made For Sharing:

The International Olympic Committee also deserves a high-five as the organization got creative and rewrote the books to accommodate two outstanding candidate cities found in LA and the French capital. In the words of IOC President Thomas Bach, a "win-win-win" indeed. Now the upcoming IOC Session in Lima, Peru, will be more of a formality to bestow two Games for the world to enjoy during this century's third decade. 

Several friends later wrote to ask my take on the news.

In a word: HAPPY!

The next three Olympic cities starting with Tokyo in 2020 are going to bring some overdue stability to the Olympic Movement not seen since the LA84 to Seoul '88 to Barcelona '92 era. Atlanta '96 delivered many ups and downs, Sydney 2000 was amazing, then the rive-ringed migraines of Athens '04, Beijing '08 and Rio 2016 shook things to the core. Even London 2012 struggled with world economic challenges. 

In three years, I believe Tokyo will deliver the most technically advanced modern Games, with Paris set to celebrate history and potentially restore traditions of the Cultural Olympiad, an element of the Games experience that once rivaled the sports competition.

Los Angeles will innovate things further with more than a decade to prepare. I, for one, can hardly wait to see things take shape over the next 10+ years, not only in the Olympic scene but also personally as I envision relocating professionally at some point, marriage and starting a family, preparing for retirement and other milestone events along the roads and flights to Japan, France and Los Angeles (not to mention future winter Olympic destinations). 

So many surprises occurred in my world in recent months. Who'da thunk Paris and LA would both prove victorious in their bids? Who'da thunk this would be the biggest year in client work for my growing public relations enterprise? Or finding new friends who've proven to be close quality companions? 

I am so optimistic on many fronts, and the creative and unexpected solutions that led to LA28 is inspiring to me. Some very creative and open minds collaborated through flexibility and patience -- the results will be dramatic and fresh.

Now, some have already found ways to poke holes in the future Games sites, like late night TV hosts (all in good fun, LOL). It will be interesting to see how the world's grizzled Olympic reporters rake up crud on which to hang some headlines now that they don't have Rio 2016 to kick around anymore.

As with that September day in 1990, when I returned home from a day of high school senior year classes to learn from my mother "some great news on NBC" that Atlanta won its bid to host the Centennial Games, I will always remember the person I was with and the place at which the LA28 news arrived. Big smiles. Happy. Very happy.

Where will you be in 11 years? Let's all meet in the City of Angels for some fun. Bravo!

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