The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles had a great impact on the youth of the city through the revenue it generated, and the LA City Mayor's office and LA84 foundation say they hope the 2028 Olympics will have the same result.
The LA84 foundation funds many youth sports leagues because of the money made through the LA 1984 Olympics. LA84 President and CEO, Renata Simril, believes that the Olympics inspire the underserved youth of Los Angeles.
Simril described how she grew up playing basketball and tennis and aspired to be a professional athlete after witnessing the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
"Growing up I was always involved in sports and when the Olympics came to LA, it was inspiring to have the best athletes in the world in my city," she said.
But Simril did not become an athlete. She instead runs one of the foundations that funds youth sports leagues in the greater Los Angeles area.
LA84 is a singular example of the positive Olympic legacy in Los Angeles, and the Mayor's office said LA 2028 will build on that legacy by investing $160 million into youth sports and health programs.
USC alumna and track and field Olympian Allyson Felix attended the LA84 annual Summit event, and she reflected her sports career.
"Sports really gave me a foundation for life, a lot of life lessons, that I could apply to every area even if I didn't go into sports specifically," Felix said.
Felix participated in as many sports as possible when she was young. She said that she just fumbled into track, enjoyed it, stuck with it and has since become one of the most decorated Olympians.
The youth that are involved in these LA84 programs have benefitted from sports and have found alternatives to hanging around street corners, Simril added.
The Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti praised LA84's work and Simril, stating, "The LA84 Foundation is a living example of the Olympic Games' power to seed a lasting legacy that will benefit the next generation, and Renata's leadership will ensure that LA84 Foundation continues to provide millions of young Angelenos with the opportunities to participate in sports."
The city of Los Angeles hopes to bring in just as much money, so that the LA84 foundation can continue impact the underserved youth of Los Angeles. As of this article's publication, there is no plan to create a "LA28" foundation separate from LA84.
The LA84 Foundation has planted many seeds within the Los Angeles youth community, and it has afforded young residents more opportunities.
Caylin Moore, a Carson, California native, was surrounded by gangs, guns, and violence growing up. He experienced domestic abuse as a child, and his father is imprisoned for life for first degree murder.
Moore described the opportunity of sport as "an avenue to stay away from gang activity and lifestyles that derail many young Black and Hispanic men from ever gaining a college education and rising to see things beyond the street corner." He was focused on staying off the streets, as his faith in God and "expectation of excellence" set by his mother kept him going.
Moore would go onto to play football at TCU, and when he realized that not all athletes can make it to the NFL, he instead focused on school and is now a Rhodes Scholar.
LA84 laid the path for Moore and he hopes other youth benefit as much as he did.
"I hope that we can continue to implement sports in the community to use sports to bridge gaps between education and success in the LA Community," Moore said.
The Mayor's office looks forward to the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics, in hope to continue to inspire the youth of Los Angeles.
"LA 2028 is a game-changer for Southern California, and our venues across the region will bring the Games and its benefits to communities throughout our region," the office stated.
Simril said she wants to continue the excellent work that LA84 has been doing and understands that sports bring communities together, and that's what the Olympics do best.
"It doesn't matter what you look like or where you come from, you're there to be a part of sports," Simril said.