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Olympics: Athletes at forefront of LA 2024 plan

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Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid chiefs on Wednesday vowed to put athletes at the forefront of the Games if the Californian city wins the right to stage the sporting spectacular.

Bid chiefs said that Los Angeles's readiness to stage the Olympics, using existing or already planned venues, meant more resources could be devoted to delivering an enhanced athlete experience.

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Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin poses for photos in front of a rendering of the Los Angeles 2024's Long Beach Sports Park. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

A total of $50 million had been set aside to "help athletes throughout the Games experience" officials said as a three-day visit by the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission got under way.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that every Olympic athlete would be given two free tickets to the competition they were competing in.

The Los Angeles 2024 logo is painted on the field at the Rose Bowl Stadium, a proposed Olympic venue. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

"We've really tried to put the emphasis on taking the stress out of the athletes' lives," Garcetti said. "We've spoke to a lot of athletes. So many of them said 'I'm worried about mum and dad, trying to get people into the event'. Those who come from wealthier nations might be able to afford some of those things, others less so.

"One athlete said that her parents would probably have come a couple more times to the Olympics if something like that had been available."

Secure areas within the Olympic zone where athletes could invite friends and family would also be created.

A rendering of the Los Angeles 2024's South Bay Sports Park is on display at the StubHub Center. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said the plans were a direct result of the city's reliance of existing venues. "When you're not burdened with delivery of facilities, you have both time and money to dedicate to things like the athlete experience," he said.

That would allow LA 2024 to offer tailored photo albums for each athlete taking part, he added.

Journalists gather around a rendering of the Los Angeles 2024's South Bay Sports Park at the StubHub Center. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

"One of the things we heard from athletes was 'I compete, but I don't see video or pictures of it'. So we are going to produce a photobook for every athlete in the competition," Wasserman said.

"It's the nice touches that you can do like that so that every athlete gets an incredible experience."

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