Bid leader Vincent Mudd said he felt a “volcano of emotion” Friday as the 2017 World Beach Games were officially awarded to San Diego, with the slogan “Make Waves.”
Meeting in Washington, delegates from 204 national Olympic committees unanimously confirmed that America’s Finest City will host the 10-day event in just under two years.
Mudd, chairman of the San Diego Exploratory Foundation (originally set up to pursue a Summer Olympics), was depicted by Inside the Games as feeling calm amid a “volcano of emotion.”
“I am absolutely stoked at this opportunity,” Mudd said. “We are the beach; we live the beach. It’s part of our culture.”
Mission Beach will host 17 sports and a hospitality center and Broadway Pier will be the site of four competitions, according to reported plans placing the cost between $100 million and $150 million.
In a video message, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “We are very excited to be your host and welcome you to our beautiful city. … Thank you for the opportunity.”
Also delighted was Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
“We have worked closely with industry experts to devise an innovative concept which will blend sport, culture and entertainment and we believe that San Diego is the perfect city to deliver our vision,” Al Sabah said. “This is an historic moment for ANOC and the NOC family.”
Vice President Joe Biden made a brief appearance earlier in the meeting held at the Hilton Hotel.
Olympian Willie Banks of Carlsbad promised the inaugural World Beach Games would be “athlete driven,” said Inside the Games. “The most important part of these Games is that we will have fun and the athletes and spectators will enjoy, which will build a wonderful brand.”
Banks told Times of San Diego via email that beach athletics (track and field) would consist of a “sprint marathon,” 60-meter dash, long jump, high jump, hammer throw and a relay. Details were pending.
Marketing expert George Taylor, president and founder of Zurich-based sportsarts+, addressed the 1,000-delegate ANOC General Assembly.
Taylor said the Games would not be expensive and pledged a “shared revenue plan” benefiting ANOC and San Diego.
Taylor said he hoped the Games would have a “widespread digital platform” with audiences engaging with #makewaves, according to Inside the Games.
“Entertainment and activities around the sporting action is explained as a key aspect for the Games, while esports is set to be made part of the program,” said the report. “Including fans as part of sponsorship is another idea raised by Taylor, who uses an example of audiences taking part in a virtual 10-kilometer race against people from across the world to raise funds” for national Olympic committees.
The General Assembly is made of about 1,200 people, including presidents and secretaries-general of all 206 national Olympic committees, the ANOC Executive Council, as well as representatives from international federations and future organizing committees of the Olympic Games.
At a reception Thursday night, ANOC President Al-Sabah welcomed the congress back to the United States for the first time in more than two decades.
“I hope you are enjoying your hot dogs like an American,” he was quoted as saying. “I am very happy to be here in Washington after a long, long, long time.”