In blue shading to purple, the big sign to the left of the cauldron read, “The Games are Back.” To the right, purple back to blue, “LA 2028.”
With International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, LA mayor Eric Garcetti and LA 2028 chairman Casey Wasserman looking on, Rafer Johnson — the Rome 1960 decathlon champion who so memorably lit the cauldron at the 1984 Games — lit the cauldron again.
The Games are back.
Paris will stage the 2024 Games and Los Angeles 2028. Last Wednesday, at an assembly in Lima, Peru, the IOC ratified this historic double allocation.
In keeping with the approach that brought the Summer Games back to the United States for the first time in a generation, since Atlanta in 1996, Sunday’s moments at the Coliseum were — yet again — low-key and marked not by any of the excess, entitlement or pompsity too often associated with the Olympic scene but by a genuine display of what the Olympics is supposed to be about:
Friendship, excellence and respect.
Plus, most of all, and this cannot be stressed enough, especially from and for Americans, and from and for Americans especially now: humility.