LOS ANGELES - 250 young Angelenos gathered today, July 21, 2017, in Downtown LA for an aspirational convening on how the next generation can benefit from a future Olympic and Paralympic Games in the City of Angels.
The Youth Idea Exchange was held at The California Endowment and was organized by prominent Los Angeles philanthropic, civic, and educational institutions. Host organizations included the Annenberg Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, GRoW @ Annenberg, LA n Sync, LA 2024, LA84 Foundation, Los Angeles Unified School District, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, underscoring an enduring commitment to bringing the Games back to LA on behalf of the next generation.
The convening of young Angelenos from neighborhoods throughout the county, in partnership with local nonprofit organizations, was an opportunity for youth to share their ideas on how to harness the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote healthy living and active lifestyles in their communities, both in the years leading up to and after the Games. The event consisted of presentations by LA civic leaders and former professional athletes, breakout sessions, as well as Olympic and Paralympic sport clinics, including: fencing, taekwondo, and sitting volleyball. A series of participatory workshops on diverse health-related topics ranging from yoga to urban farming to hip hop dance was also a part of the day’s activities.
Participants covered a wide range of topics, including: expanding access and boosting participation in youth sport, including for Angelenos with disabilities; harnessing the power of the Games to facilitate cultural exchanges between LA’s many diverse communities; using the Games as a vehicle to increase education around topics such as health, fitness and sport; and using LA residents’ pride in hosting the Games as a spark to boost civic engagement and hands-on involvement in the community.
Speaking from the Youth Idea Exchange, high school student Eric Gomez from the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles said: "I am thrilled that the Olympic and Paralympic Games could return to my hometown and I am excited that our generation has the opportunity to shape how the Games would positively impact our city."
Speakers at the event included LA84 Foundation President & CEO, Renata Simril; Los Angeles Rams community affairs lead and former NFL player, Johnathan Franklin; and The California Endowment President and CEO and LA 2024 Board Member, Dr. Robert K. Ross, with support by LA n Sync, a groundbreaking partnership that unites the academic, civic, nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors of Greater Los Angeles
California Endowment President and CEO and LA 2024 Board Member Dr. Robert K. Ross said: "As an LA-based private health foundation, we view community and civic wellness as resting upon two pillars: a welcoming, culture of inclusion; and, an active, healthy lifestyle. This is why we believe that LA has a lot to offer to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Through today’s Youth Idea Exchange, we recognize the creativity and passion of young Angelenos in contributing to a civic conversation about the Games – how the Games hosted by our city can be great, and how the Games can benefit our city."
The legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games lives on every day. The LA84 Foundation was formed with a portion of the surplus funds from those games, and the Foundation has invested more than $230 million in Southern California, positively impacting the lives of more than three million kids and increasing access to more than fifty different sports since its foundation. LA84 believes in #PlayForAll and has a motto of, Life Ready Through Sport.
LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril said: "The legacy of the 1984 Games demonstrates the long-term transformational power of sport. Everyone who gathered here today is helping to plan a future social and human legacy that is just as powerful."
Olympic taekwondo champion and LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission Member, Jimmy Kim, led a taekwondo clinic, reflecting a commitment to Olympic value-based education and reinforcing the positive impacts of sport on individuals and their communities.
Olympic taekwondo champion and LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission Member Jimmy Kim said: "The Olympic Movement has had a deeply formative impact on the City of Angels. Both the 1932 and 1984 Games left behind meaningful legacies that continue to be felt today. From day one of our bid, LA 2024 has been committed to ensuring that a future Games would build on those legacies and generate benefits for all Angelenos for generations.
"Today’s Youth Idea Exchange was about empowering LA’s leaders of tomorrow to ask themselves what Olympic and Paralympic legacy means to them. Thanks to the work of the LA84 Foundation, many of these young people know firsthand the power of the Olympic values to inspire and of sport and physical activity to build crucial life skills. We hope that today’s event will serve as a launchpad for more conversations about seizing the golden opportunity presented by the Games to benefit all Angelenos."
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