Three Olympians Announced as the 2017 Tournament of Roses® Grand Marshals

Olympians Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis & Janet Evans are the 2017 Tournament of Roses® Grand Marshals

PHOTOS: Bill Glazier | Editor South Pasadena Review

On the front steps of the iconic Tournament House, Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff ceremoniously revealed the 2017 Tournament of Roses Three Grand Marshals: Olympians, Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis & Janet Evans. The Grand Marshals will ride in the 128th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, themed “Echoes of Success” on Monday, January 2, 2017. The three Olympic legends and Southern California natives represent the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid committee working to bring the Games back to the City of Angels in 2024.

PHOTOS: Bill Glazier | Editor South Pasadena Review
PHOTOS: Bill Glazier | Editor South Pasadena Review

Tournament of Roses President, Brad Ratliff, ceremoniously revealed the 2017 Grand Marshals at Tournament House in Pasadena.

“We each have those individuals that have made an impact on our lives,” said Ratliff.  “This year’s theme, ‘Echoes of Success’ is a salute to those individuals.  The impact that our three Grand Marshals have had on so many, both through their achievements and voices, truly is representative of our theme.  The values exhibited by our Olympians and the richness in their backgrounds has given so many others the support, encouragement and drive to succeed, and we want to celebrate all that they have given.”

The 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses theme, “Echoes of Success,” tells the story of how our character has developed through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts. It is a celebration for those people, institutions and organizations that help in the success of others.

“On behalf of LA 2024, we’re thrilled that three of Southern California’s greatest Olympians will lead the world-famous Rose Parade and share our city’s Olympic passion with viewers across the globe,” said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman. “Every New Year, the Tournament of Roses celebrates Southern California’s innovation, creativity and excitement for the future; and LA 2024 will harness this optimistic Angeleno spirit to invite the world to ‘Follow the Sun’ to the City of Angels for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

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JANET EVANS is a five-time Olympic medalist who has broken seven world records, she is widely considered to be the greatest female distance swimmer in history.  She was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. In 1989, she was awarded the prestigious Sullivan Award as the United States’ top amateur athlete.  Out of the pool, Janet has made a name for herself as a commercial spokesperson, author and a highly sought after motivational speaker. Her most recent role as Vice Chairperson and Chair of the LA 2024 Bid Committee’s Athletes’ Commission and Director of Athlete Relations, Janet is responsible for promoting the candidacy of the Bid Committee and Los Angeles to host the Games, soliciting athletes’ involvement in the development and promotion of the bid and enhancing the athletes’ experience at the Games. Janet is a vital member of the Bid Committee, helping integrate the athletes’ perspective and personalities into the entire bid process.

ALLYSON FELIX did not try out for the track team until her ninth-grade year at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills, California. At her first practice Coach Jonathon Patton asked her to run 40-meters and thought he must have mismeasured the distance when he saw Allyson’s time. In 2003, Felix turned in an even more impressive performance when she competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium and ran a blazing 22.11 second 200-meter race, which was a new world record in the under-20 category. She emerged as the new American Female sprinter to watch and has never looked back winning three Gold Medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games and followed that up in 2016 with two more Gold Medals and another Silver Medal. Under the tutelage of Coach Bob Kersee, she has won a total of six Olympic Gold Medals and is now the most decorated female track & field Olympian in history.

GREG LOUGANIS is simply the greatest diver in history. The beauty and power of his diving captured the world’s attention.2016 marks the 40th Anniversary of Greg’s first Olympic medal. Greg won a Silver Medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, in platform diving, at the tender age of 16. Eight years later he became the first male diver to win double Gold in springboard and platform in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and again in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Surface, spent five weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He has won a total of 5 Olympic medals, 5 World Championship titles and 47 national titles — more than any person in U.S. history. His records remain unbroken. His Emmy Nominated HBO documentary “Back on Board” tells the story of Greg’s life, is a story that has inspired millions. He regularly speaks to the most significant organizations and companies in the world to share that story. Today, as an author, actor, activist and humanitarian, clothing and jewelry designer, he continues his traditional of excellence in every field he touches.

All three Olympians serve on the LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission, ensuring Olympians and Paralympians are involved in all aspects of Los Angeles’ plans and bid for the 2024 Games.

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