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our laurels as we continue to try and make it better. We are proud to have the number one car show and the soon-to-be number one food and wine event, but there are a lot of opportuni- ties to be even better. •••


The success of the 1984 Olympic Games is unprecedented. What is something the public does not know about the games? Many people don’t know that the private sector operated the games and there was a surplus of a quarter-of-a-billion dollars. One- hundred percent of the funding for the games came from the private sector, not a penny of donation or a penny of taxes from any governmental entity. The entire surplus was donated to various organizations. The success of the games was due to the fact that there were 30,000 people who volunteered a por- tion of their life. Some of them a year of their life and some of them only two months, but most of them took a chunk of their life and donated their services, including me, and it worked. ••• Isn’t that surplus still funding youth programs? Yes, it’s actually funding many organizations. Forty percent went to the United States Olympic Com- mittee, funding every sport that goes to the games. Still today, 80 percent of their total endowment is from that one Olympic Games. And 20 percent of the money was given to national gov- erning bodies and then the other 40 percent was for a charity set up in Los Angeles called “LA 84” which funds inner-city kids in Southern California communities and the occasional Northern California community. •••


When and how did you hear about the Soviet boycott? I was starting the torch relay after we had gotten the fl ame. So it was on that fi rst day that I got word and we got the torch relay going, and then went immediately to the then president of the IOC and to the White House to meet with Ronald Reagan.


We assured him that we were going to defeat the boycott and be able to have a great games without any federal money, which suited President Reagan to a “T.” The president was a big supporter. •••


With New York and Chicago miss- ing out on the 2016 Olympics, when do you think the U.S. will next host the summer Olympic Games? The United States will host the Olympic


breaking even or making money. Once we got the teams to be viable, though, it became sort of routine. I didn’t want to do that anymore. •••


What do you think of the status of baseball today? People are saying it’s too slow, but it’s still our national pastime. There are so many things you can do fast but the art of baseball is every athlete performing as an indi- vidual, almost by themselves. The rest of sports has a blur factor. In baseball, the outfi elder’s robbing someone of a home run, the batter is all alone, he strikes out or gets a hit, the pitcher is isolated. That puts a lot more pressure on athletes. You start to appreciate that. The thing I worry about more is that


young people sit exercising their thumbs too much. I worry about our society be- coming too sedentary. I like soccer. It’s a great sport because you use every muscle and you develop your legs. I carry my bag when I play golf. I carry a light bag, but I still carry it to be active. •••


Games when other countries around the world realize just how diffi cult it is. The model we used was to use existing facilities even if that meant expanding the geographic size of the games. If you take a look at most of the recent games, all the facilities are new and in one central area. Now, many of the edifi ces and facilities in these cities are going unused. They’re rusting and costing the host nations a lot of money, and it just doesn’t make sense. •••


How much did the game of baseball expand during your reign as commis- sioner? I liked the idea of doing a spe- cial project, so I only took the job for one term. All but four teams in baseball were losing a signifi cant amount of money and I wanted to get them profi table again using my private sec- tor idea. When I left, all but two were


What accomplishment are you most proud of? I haven’t done it yet. I’ve been turned down where I tried to get the job and didn’t. I showed a lot of inter- est when Hurricane Katrina happened. I thought I could have jumped in and helped. I saw a three-year term in the 2003 [California Governors] election but Arnold [Schwarzenegger] had too much momentum. I wanted that spot, but only to fi nish one term and never run in politics again because as soon as you have to run again, it’s natural to weaken your resolve. •••


With your involvement in so many projects, do you ever sleep? The good news is I sleep very well and through the night, about seven hours. Second good news, I can sleep anywhere. On the plane coming up here before we left, I dozed off. •••


What is one word to describe yourself? Loyal.


FALL 2011 / NCGA.ORG / 43


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