Rings of Hell: 1984, The Olympic Legacy of Denial
NOlympics Los Angeles and KNOCK.LA explore the true legacy of the Olympic Games here in Los Angeles.
NOlympics Los Angeles and KNOCK.LA explore the true legacy of the Olympic Games here in Los Angeles by dismantling the false narrative of 1984.
The 1984 Olympic Games are hailed as one of the most successful games ever staged. Los Angeles provided a host city experience complete with all the cosmopolitan luxury of Hollywood, all while shedding its reputation as a traffic nightmare and earning a profit. For Eric Garcetti and Casey Wasserman this apparent legacy of success is one of their major selling points for the 2028 Games.
But this rhetoric, which is found throughout the 2024 bid book and the marketing surrounding the games, is a shallow mask over the real legacy of 1984. Beneath the star studded Opening Ceremonies and lavish Olympic Village there is a narrative about displacement, policing, and inequality. An event like the Olympics does not slot easily into a city like Los Angeles. Even a normal day sees our streets and communities stretched to their breaking point. LAPD was essential in sweeping away unhoused people around the stadiums and party venues. International paramilitary forces were used to train officers and the department acquired an armored personnel carrier. These capabilities have not been abandoned, but rather LAPD has become more militarized as the city grows.
While there is some truth to the idea that 1984 Games turned a profit the full story is much more complicated. By relying on a new form of corporate sponsorship, private funding, and opaque accounting LA walked away with millions of dollars, except it’s not public money. The ‘84 Foundation was created to hold and spend the money, deciding which neighborhoods would reap the windfall, and their largesse was not felt in underserved communities.
1984’s legacy is central to understanding the drive towards 2028 and how we can resist these false memories to stop the games.
For more info: https://NOlympicsLA.com