NBA legend and retired Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced Friday that he will join the LA 2024 Board of Directors and Athletes' Advisory Council in a push to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles.
"I'm extremely excited about joining the board here and trying to bring the Olympics back to Los Angeles," Bryant said in an announcement streamed live on Facebook.
Bryant made the announcement alongside LA 2024 Vice Chair Janet Evans, a four-time Olympic swimming gold medalist, in an interview with sportscaster Al Michaels at the Rose Bowl.
"There's no greater feeling than to stand there before the game begins, and to look at your flag and gaze at the crowd, and see all the Americans standing up, hand on their heart, and hear the national anthem being played, knowing what you're representing," Bryant said.
Bryant is the 114th member of LA 2024's board.
Bryant, known as the "Black Mamba," played the final game of his 20-year career on the Los Angeles Lakers in April 2016. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star and retired with two Olympic gold medals.
"Kobe is synonymous with L.A.'s status as a global sports and entertainment capital and he will be an excellent addition to our bid team," said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman.
LA 2024 also announced eight other new members of the bid committee's Athletes' Advisory Commission:
- David Boudia (diving);
- Valerie Brisco-Hooks (track and field);
- Mark Crear (track and field);
- Meryl Davis (ice dancing);
- Sarah Hughes (figure skating);
- John Moffet (swimming);
- Summer Sanders (swimming); and
- Charlie White (ice dancing).
The new members increase the commission's membership to 108.
The bidding to host the games began in 2015 with Hamburg, Rome, and Budapest vying for the spot, but only Paris and Los Angeles remain.
The International Olympic Committee will make its choice in September. The losing city could be awarded the 2028 Olympics in September.
The IOC is expected to announce the location of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in July 2017.