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Mayor Garcetti heads to Rio to make LA's bid for 2024 Olympics

THE OLYMPIC MOTTO OF CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS IS DISPLAYED ON A GIANT TV SCREEN AT TODAY's OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 1984 SUMMER OLYMPICS.
Tony Duffy/Getty Images
File: The Olympic Motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius is displayed on a giant TV screen at the Opening Ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

A 25-member delegation from Los Angeles is in Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The L.A. 2024 team is watching the Olympics — and also promoting its bid with voting members of the International Olympics Committee. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke with KPCC from Rio, attending with the delegation.

Garcetti said he believes the city is a perfect candidate to host the games. The combination of L.A.'s weather, diverse landscape and multicultural population — not to mention the existing facilities to hold the games in — makes it the most athlete-centered bid to ever be put forward in the Olympics, Garcetti said. 

“Los Angeles is the kind of town where, [for] everybody, it’s their second home. There are populations from every continent and every kind of food, every language spoken,” he said.  

There are other projects throughout the city that are currently in the works to enhance L.A.'s candidacy, Garcetti said, but he added that these projects are being done for the city — not the other way around — and that holding the games will be an added bonus. 

"One of the lessons I've learned is you shouldn't ever do things just for a two-and-a-half-week event... We're not connecting rail to LAX ...  because we might win the Olympics," Garcetti said. "We're doing it because the city needs it. We're not building $30 billion worth of transportation ... because we might need it for those two and a half weeks — we're doing it because the people of L.A. need it."

While the delegation makes its case to the committee, he said the delegation also wants to learn from any infrastructure troubles Brazil may have encountered. They're picking the best practices that they see there and are learning lessons from what other game-hosting cities have done in past games, he added.

The L.A. delegation heads home next Wednesday.  The Opening Ceremony is this Friday night.