Janet Evans speaks at the meeting in Fort Lauderdale ©LA2024

Los Angeles 2024 has held the first of a series of Athlete Town Hall meetings in Fort Lauderdale.

A delegation led by director of athlete relations Janet Evans travelled to the city in Florida where she was joined by American Olympians and Paralympians.

Other meetings will be held all over the country, with the aim of promoting the Californian city's bid for the 2024 Games across the United States.

As well as increasing national support, it is hoped that all athletes based in the US - both American and foreign competitors - will have the chance to contribute to the bid.

Evans presented on how Los Angeles plans to provide a "state-of-the-art, personalised athlete experience" in eight years' time.

More than 30 Olympic and Paralympic athletes gathered in Fort Lauderdale after LA 2024 worked with the US Olympian and Paralympian Association’s (USOPA) Florida chapter.

Included were double Olympic swimming champion Tiffany Cohen, who won the 400 metre and 800m freestyle titles the last time Los Angeles hosted the Games in 1984.

Winter Olympic figure skater Rachel Godino, gymnast Carrie Zimmerman, world champion rower Garrett Klugh and ice hockey Olympic champion Bob McVey were others in attendance. 

The group reviewed LA's proposed venues and discussed ways the Games could promote the positive values of sport and Olympism to young people across the country and, later, around the world.

All feedback will now be taken on board with a Games based on the experience of the athlete a key part of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach's Agenda 2020 vision.

Olympic swimming champion Tiffany Cohen makes a point
Olympic swimming champion Tiffany Cohen makes a point ©LA2024

“We couldn’t have hoped for a more successful and productive kick-off to our effort to gather input on LA 2024’s Games Plan from Olympians and Paralympians from across the United States," said Evans, a quadruple Olympic swimming champion.

"Just last month we unveiled the 53 Olympians and Paralympians who make up LA 2024’s Athletes’ Advisory Commission, but we have known from the beginning that putting athletes at the centre of our bid requires more.

"Nobody understands the importance of athlete experience better than athletes, and that’s why we are hitting the road, and engaging Olympians and Paralympians from all the corners of this country to help build the most state-of-the-art, personalised Games experience ever.”

Evans revealed the Town Hall meeting plan on March 8, the same day that the Athletes' Advisory Commission line-up was named.

Athletics legend Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medallist, and tennis star Andre Agassi are two of the big-hitting athletes among the membership.

Gary Hall Sr, the USOPA President, said: "It’s not surprising that more than 1000 Olympians and Paralympians choose to live and train in LA.

"From the City of Angels’ idyllic weather to its wealth of world-class sports venues to its unique ability to harness innovation and creativity, LA is perfectly poised to provide the optimal athlete experience in 2024.

"We are excited to partner with LA 2024 as we carefully gather the input of Olympians and Paralympians from all across the country.

"The Town Hall meeting provided insights that will help LA 2024 harness its rich sporting tradition to best serve athletes - it set an excellent tone for the Town Halls coming up in the near future.”

Los Angeles is bidding against Budapest, Paris and Rome in the race for the 2024 hosting rights, with the IOC due to elect a winner at its Session in Lima next year.