The LA84 Foundation welcomed the Los Angeles Galaxy Academy team on Tuesday afternoon, introducing the young athletes to LA’s Olympic heritage while also bringing in industry professionals for an informational panel on careers of sports. The 27 team members met Sam the Eagle, the official mascot of the 1984 Olympic Games, while also holding torches from the 1984 Games and touring LA84’s collection of Olympic memorabilia. The players also learned about LA84’s mission and how athletes engage and give back to their communities, while also hearing about the LA 2024 Olympic bid.
The visit concluded with a panel of four sports professionals, who spoke to the Academy team about their journeys to and experiences in their jobs. The four panelists were Allison Citelli, Senior Manager, Events & Business Development at Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission; Johnathan Franklin, Los Angeles Rams Community and External Relations; Tiffany Rubin, Manager at the Los Angeles Dodgers RBI Program; and Luca Servodio, Communications Manager for the LA 2024 Olympic bid.
Franklin, who played football for UCLA and the Green Bay Packers before a career-ending neck injury led to a career transition into community relations, tied up the panel nicely with a valuable piece of advice to the high-school age soccer players. “You can’t live in a box, thinking about sports,” he said. “You all are blessed with talents, skills and abilities. Use that on the field, but also outside of that. Know that you are worth more than just being an athlete.”
Did you know that soccer is the most-played sport by youth in LA County? Find out more facts about soccer in LA inside the 2016 LA84 Foundation Youth Sports Survey of LA County.