LOS ANGELES Tennis player Serena Williams and gymnast Simone Biles are the latest leading athletes to lend their names to the campaign to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, the city's bid committee said on Friday.
Williams, the women's world number one, and Biles, a four-times Olympic gold medallist, bring to 99 the number of U.S. and international athletes appointed to the LA 2024 Athletes' Advisory Commission.
Among the 44 members added on Friday to the commission, whose aim is to ensure athletes are involved in all aspects of the city's plans and bid for the Games, were Olympic champions Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Ashton Eaton and Nastia Liukin.
Williams, who rose from playing on the cracked, public hard courts of Compton - not far from where the tennis competition will be held in 2024 should LA win the bid - as an African American woman to world number one by the age of 20 in a largely white sport, was eager to join the committee.
"Growing up in Los Angeles taught me that anyone can succeed as long as they have dreams and goals," Williams, a four-times Olympic gold medallist, said in a statement.
"Los Angeles embodies the optimistic spirit that allows kids like me to become athletes and Olympians."
Los Angeles is competing with Paris for the right to stage the 2024 sports extravaganza. The host city will be announced at a vote in Lima, Peru, in September.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)