LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Harry Usher, one of the architects of the extremely successful 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, believes the city could have hosted the Games next summer should such an emergency situation have arisen.
But Anita DeFrantz, the President of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles and one of two International Olympic Committee representatives to the United States, isn’t so sure that such a task could have been undertaken.
And Amy Quinn, the press secretary of the 1984 Games, intimated that she wouldn’t have wanted so see such an attempt made for aesthetic reasons.
In answer to a hypothetical question, Usher, the Executive Vice President.General Manager of the 1984 Games, said Tuesday that time would have been the main opponent of such an undertaking by Los Angeles.
To DeFrantz, time would have probably have been too formidable an opponent.
″The one thing I’m not concerned about is the manpower in Los Angeles to take care of it,″ Usher said. ″We have a tremendous number of people who could get it done. ″The question is timing, money, but not people power.″
Said DeFrantz: ″That’s a real tough question, could it have been done. Maybe you should call Las Vegas.
″I think it would have taken maybe an extra year to get it done.″
Mayor Tom Bradley said last month he had spoken informally with IOC officials about using Los Angeles as an alternate site for the 1988 Summer Games if the political situation in Seoul, South Korea, made it impossible for the 1988 Summer Olympics to be held there.
On Tuesday, however, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said if the Games could not be held in Seoul, they would not be held at all.
Usher was asked to comment on the hypothetical question.
″The question is really framed, should there be no Olympics in 1988 or should there be one where you could continue the tradition,″ Usher said. ″If you acted pretty soon, it could be done (in Los Angeles).
″It’s not going to be as perfect, it’s not going to be as well-planned because of the time problems, but it could be done.
″My feeling is that the IOC has to give a strong affirmation to Seoul because it is necessary to give Seoul the confidence to go forward. I believe the Games will take place in Seoul and take place very well.″
DeFrantz agreed, saying, ″There’s no way to know (if Los Angeles could have hosted the Games) and fortunately, there’s no reason to know...I’m confident the games will be held in Seoul.″
For Los Angeles to have hosted the Games, Usher said that to begin with, a decision would have had to have been made quickly.
″Probably for Los Angeles, the time would have to be changed to July and August when USC and UCLA are not in session, just as it was in 1984,″ he said. ″The Seoul Games are in late September.
″You’d also need the cooperation of every stadium site and every applicable government official together with the obvious need to have someone provide the facilities for the internatinal television signal, which ABC did in 1984.
″And on top of that, you would also need corporate America to step forward in terms of sponsorship to fund the Games.″
Bradley, who was unavailable for comment Tuesday, said he was not actively seeking to have the Olympics held in Los Angeles and that the offer was made merely as a fallback position for the IOC.
Quinn expressed the feeling that no job would probably be better than a rush job.
″We had six years to organize the Games, which seems like a long time, but it’s really not, given all the billions of elements that need to be put together,″ she said.
″From a personal standpoint ... So many people labored so long to make the Games great in 1984. Not to be able to do it in 1988, I think, would be unfortunate.
″Thousands of people devoted a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of love, to make those Games extraordinary. Not to have the time to do it, well, I’d hate to feel my efforts were diminished by throwing it together at the last minute. It would diminish a lot of work a lot of people did.
″If you can’t do it right, why take it on? All the little things, they all added up, that’s what made the Games great. I grew up in a family where we said ‘If you can’t do something right, why do it?’ That’s the way I feel now.″