This Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. On July 28, 1984, visitors from around the world crowded into Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The hundreds of thousands of spectators seated in the stadium each held up a card to form the flags of all the participating nations, witnessed the arrival of Bill Suitor via jet-pack, and cheered as track and field legend Rafer Johnson lit the Olympic torch. The opening ceremony was a brilliant start for an overwhelmingly successful Games where the United States dominated and Los Angeles reinvented itself as a modern mecca.
Now, 30 years later, the city of Los Angeles is commemorating the auspicious anniversary by announcing a renovation of the John Ferraro Athletic Fields. L.A.'s largest soccer facility, the 26-acre site will undergo extensive construction, transforming into a state-of-the-art complex that will serve three times its current capacity. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Rafer Johnson joined other Olympians, Mayor Eric Garcetti, representatives of the LA84 Foundation, and the young soccer players who frequent the park to celebrate the future of the fields and remember the successes of the past.
"This project will provide a safe, state-of-the-art venue for hundreds of thousands of kids and adults from all over the city to enjoy- a fitting tribute to the fine athletes who competed here in Los Angeles 30 years ago and a reminder of the enormous benefits the '84 Games continue to bring to our city," said Johnson at the event.
Always a city looking for the next big thing, Los Angeles has already begun preparing another bid to host the Olympics in 2024, as Mayor Garcetti and other officials met with the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs last week. In just another decade, we might find ourselves celebrating both the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics and the start of a new tradition.
For a bit of 80s nostalgia, watch the video of the 1984 Olympic Opening Ceremony below!