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Olympics Could Come to Santa Monica in 2024
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 20, 2016 -- Don’t go looking for tickets quite yet because it’s a long way from being official, but at least three Summer Olympic events could take place in Santa Monica in 2024.

A presentation will be made to the Planning Commission next month about men’s and women’s beach volleyball being held in the bayside city of 93,640.

LA 2024, a private committee bidding for the Olympics to take place in the region, also proposes Santa Monica host the men’s and women’s triathlon and open-water races.

These events would add to Santa Monica's Olympics legacy, which includes a significant feature.

The inaugural women’s marathon started at Santa Monica College in 1984 when Los Angeles last hosted the Games.

That race continued down local streets, including a stretch near the beach on Ocean Avenue, before moving eastbound toward the finish line in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The winner was American Joan Benoit, who just three months earlier had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a running-induced injury.

The men began their 26.2-mile journey at SMC one week later in the final competition of the 1984 Games. Portugal’s Carol Lopes bested that field. No American won a medal.

Santa Monica was featured in the 1932 Games as well, with a cycling road race going through the city.

None of the three events proposed for Santa Monica in 2024 existed in the 1984 Games. The Olympics introduced beach volleyball in 1996. The triathlon debuted in 2000.

The first four modern Olympic games featured all the swimming races in open water. After a move to the pool, swimming did not return to the open water until 2008 with the 10-kilometer race.

Observers say Los Angeles and Paris are the front-runners to host the 2024 Games. The other competing cities are Rome and Budapest.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a decision in the fall of 2017.

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