Los Angeles and Grand Marshals make a rosy bid for the 2024 Olympics at the Rose Parade (photos)

An angel for the City of Angels, a sunburst for sunny Southern California, and a rainbow for the variety of cultures and experiences in the area—what could say LA more fittingly? The LA 2024 Olympics logo bursts from the iconic Olympic venue, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the 2017 Los Angeles Rose Parade float..
The LA 2024 Olympics logo bursts from the iconic LA Memorial Coliseum.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

In choosing the three co-Grand Marshals for the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade, Pres. Brad Ratliff had a brilliant idea, but it came rather later in the game that usual. In conjunction—or perhaps collusion—with the City of Los Angeles’ float entry, “Follow the Sun,” he chose three Olympians who are also coincidently part of the LA 2024 Olympic bid effort. The float was announced earlier in the year, but the Grand Marshals weren’t announced until November, 2016. They only had a few weeks’ notice before being publicly presented.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end for more about the float and the Grand Marshals.

The Olympians, Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, and Allyson Felix, followed the 119th consecutive Los Angeles float in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. The float was presented by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and LA 2024, and featured the beloved symbol of the Los Angeles Olympics, whether 1932, 1984, or 2024—the iconic peristyle and flaming torch of the Memorial Coliseum. The city is the US Candidate City for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Evans serves as the Vice Chairperson and Chair of the LA 2024 Bid Committee’s Athletes’ Commission and Director of Athlete Continue reading “Los Angeles and Grand Marshals make a rosy bid for the 2024 Olympics at the Rose Parade (photos)”

Grand Marshals Evans, Louganis, and Felix try out their Rose Parade rides

by Laura Berthold Monteros

We were tipped off that the three Grand Marshals and their families would be at the car decorating tent on Saturday to sit in the classic automobiles that will drive them down Colorado Blvd. in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade. The parade is held on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 because of the “Never on Sunday” rule. Olympians Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, and Allison Felix climbed into the cars with huge grins on their faces. Be sure to take a look at the photos below.

FTD floral designer J. Keith White, AIFD CFD, has decorated the vehicles used in the parade for a dozen years. He chooses colors and floral materials that complement the color and design of the cars. Or buses, trolleys, and mule team wagons that he is called on to beautify for the Rose Parade. None of the three Grand Marshal cars—a 1915 Pierce Arrow for Evans, a 1937 Bentley for Louganis, and a 1911 Pope-Hartford for Felix—has been in the Rose Parade before. All will be driven by their owners, and White made sure that each one has the Olympic rings on the front.

Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Allyson Felix are 2017 Rose Parade Grand Marshals

The three Grand Marshals for the 2017 Rose Parade, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, and Allyson Felix are happy to be on stage with Sam the Olympic Eagle from the 1984 Los Angeles games. The announcement took place on Nov. 3, 2016. All photos copyright 2016 Laura Berthold Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

This morning at Tournament House in Pasadena, the biggest secret in town was revealed. Pres. Brad Ratliff announced that the Grand Marshals of the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade are Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis, and Janet Evans. All three are native Southern Californians who are world famous, multiple Olympic medal winners in multiple years, and world record holders. And all three serve on the LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission, ensuring that Olympians and Paralympians are involved in all aspects of the plans to bring the Olympic Games to Los Angeles in 2024.

Be sure to check out the album at the end of this article!

Ratliff, who chose the theme “Echoes of Success” for 2017, opened the ceremony by asking, “How cool is it that we’re at the house of the guy who built the World Series champion team?” Tournament House belonged to the William Wrigley family before it was donated to the City of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters. He continued by rattling off numbers that can be considered indicators of success: 128 Rose Parades, 103 Rose Bowl Games, 935 volunteers and 37 staff members, 120 Grand Marshals, two of whom were puppets.

“All are successful in their own stories, even if their story is narrated by Kermit The Frog or Charlie McCarthy,” Ratliff said. He noted that it’s sometimes difficult to find a Grand Marshal who fits the theme of the year, “but not this year.” Indeed, he found three who are personally successful and whose success echoes in the many people they have inspired. Each swept through the golden curtains draping the front entryway and gave a short speech, and each mentioned that they grew up with the Rose Parade as a family tradition. Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos handed each a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses.  Continue reading “Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Allyson Felix are 2017 Rose Parade Grand Marshals”