Usain Bolt Prepares for Final Race -- Monday Memo

(ATR) Also: LA City Council expected to approve 2028 on Friday; World Friendship Games begin in Burundi.

(ATR) Athletics legend Usain Bolt will retire his spikes following a final attempt at a world championship gold medal this week in London.

The Jamaican sprinter is seeking his 20th and final gold medal at either the Olympics or IAAF World Championships when he competes in the 4x100 meter relay scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 12 at 3 pm in London's Olympic Stadium. Bolt ran the second-fastest 100 meter in history on the same track at the London 2012 Games, just .05 seconds off of his world record of 9.58 seconds set in 2009.

Already the most decorated sprinter in history with eight Olympic golds and 11 world championship titles, a win on Friday would extend Bolt's lead in total world championship gold medals over long-distance runner Mo Farah who has 10.

The 4x100 meter relay will not be Bolt's first shot at gold in these championships. In a shock to the sporting world, Bolt lost his first 100 meter final at an Olympics or World Championships on Aug. 5 to American Justin Gatlin. Bolt finished third in the race behind American Christian Coleman.

Bolt's final race on Saturday is one of the highlights of the two-week competition that concludes on Aug. 13.

Approximately 2,000 athletes from more than 200 countries are competing in the 16th edition of the championships. Their opportunities to claim a gold medal and title of world’s greatest in their discipline are expected to draw in an audience of six billion viewers across 200 territories.

LA City Council Mulls 2028 Olympics

Los Angeles City Council president Herb Wesson says that the City Council will convene on Aug. 11 to present its findings regarding the feasibility of hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Originally a contender for the 2024 Summer Games, LA 2024 bid leaders and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti negotiated with the International Olympic Committee to reach a tripartite agreement with its sole 2024 rival, Paris, where the French capital would stage the 2024 edition with LA following in 2028.

In the agreement, Los Angeles earned more than $2 billion in concessions from the IOC that will help fund youth sports in the city and mitigate the risks associated with an 11-year wait to host the Games.

The ad hoc Olympic committee will present findings from its meeting on Friday. A meeting of the LA 2024 Ad Hoc committee was the first step in securing government guarantees required by the LA 2028 bid to authorize the signing of the 2028 Host City contract.

On Aug. 5, Los Angeles city council members had the opportunity to hear from the public and ask LA 2028 bid leaders questions on the new Olympics project proposal.

Opposition group NOlympics LA also had a presence at the meeting, urging council members to reconsider support for the 2028 Olympics. The critics complained about housing inequality and increased policing during the Games.

Council member questions focused on how LA 2028 would mitigate risk given the extra four years added to the project. The council also recommended seeking assurances from the California state legislature for funding guarantees given for the 2024 Games. The state legislature is currently not in session.

It is expected that the council will vote in favor of supporting signing the 2028 Host City Contract.

Friendship Games Begin in Burundi

The eighth edition of the Friendship Games organized by Peace and Sport begin Friday, Aug. 11 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The three-day event is designed to drive change in the in African Great Lakes Region, an area historically devastated by wars and conflict. This year’s edition in Burundi marks the 12 year anniversary of the end of the Burundian civil war. The Friendship Games are being staged in the same city that the ceasefire agreement was signed.

The event brings together nearly 200 youth athletes from Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo to compete in 12 sports and foster peaceful relations. This year’s edition is organized by Peace and Sport along with the National Olympic Committee of Burundi.

"Everyone at Peace and Sport is excited to join together with athletes, International Federations, and local children for the 2017 Friendship Games in Bujumbura, and we cannot wait to show how the power of sport can change people’s lives in the toughest of situations," said Peace and Sport founder Joel Bouzou.

"Sport is a powerful tool for change, and it is through sport that we find inspiration to reach for something greater than ourselves. At the Friendship Games this year, we hope to inspire the children of Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo to reach for a greater future for themselves."

Written by Kevin Nutley and Aaron Bauer

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