Rafer Johnson

Rafer Johnson's Los Angeles


Los Angeles Magazine

Rafer Johnson is one of the greatest athletes in U.S. history. Johnson was the USA team captain, flag bearer and Decathlon Gold Medalist at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Among his many accolades, Johnson was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1958, and won the 1960 James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America, breaking that award's color barrier. In 1974, Johnson was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. Johnson was selected to light the Olympic Cauldron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to open the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. In 1998, he was named one of ESPN's 100 Greatest North American Athletes of the 20th Century. In 2006, the NCAA named the former UCLA Bruin as one of the 100 Most Influential Student Athletes of the past 100 years.

Rafer Johnson, along with a small group of volunteers, founded Special Olympics California in 1969 by conducting a competition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 900 individuals with intellectual disabilities. As Los Angeles welcomes thousands of athletes and visitors to the Special Olympics World Games, Johnson shares some of his favorite places in L.A.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum peristyle

The Greatest Sports Moments in Los Angeles Coliseum History


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The Coliseum hosted the 1932 Summer Olympic Games from July 30 to Aug. 14. Officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, it was the first of two Olympiads hosted at the stadium. Along with the opening and closing ceremonies, the Coliseum was the site for field hockey, gymnastics, show jumping equestrian events, and track and field. Babe Didrikson won two track and field gold medals, in javelin and hurdles. Clarence “Buster” Crabbe (later the star of the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials) won the gold in 400-meter freestyle swimming. An Olympic Village was built for the first time. It was located in Baldwin Hills and was occupied by the male athletes. Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. Another innovation was the victory podium, which was used for the first time at the ‘32 Olympics. Interesting trivia: Tenth Street was renamed Olympic Boulevard in honor of the Olympics.

Outdoor plaza at The Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles

The Best of Los Angeles in 2015


Discover Los Angeles

L.A. is one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Even frequent visitors and longtime residents who think they know L.A. can always discover something new in this exciting metropolis. Read on to find out the latest attractions and greatest events taking place in the City of Angels.

L.A. River Boat Race

August 30: L.A. River Boat Race


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On Saturday, August 30, 2014, L.A. River Expeditions presents the inaugural L.A. River Boat Race, taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a three-quarter mile stretch of the Glendale Narrows.

Clayton Kershaw pitching at Dodger Stadium

July 28, 2014: Dodgers All-Access


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For fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it doesn’t get any better than Dodgers All-Access, taking place at Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 28, 2014.

L.A. Tourism Celebrates "Summer Sneak Preview" On May 24, 2014


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The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) welcomes visitors and locals alike to celebrate L.A.'s unofficial “Summer Sneak Preview” on Saturday, May 24, 2014. No other region combines the multicultural concerts and festivals, movies al fresco, sports events and overall summertime vibe the way L.A. does, and the first day of Memorial Day weekend provides the ultimate primer for folks to get their summer on before the real deal starts next month. The music, cinematic and cultural events listed below will make the 24th a day to remember.

The Greatest Moments in STAPLES Center History


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Since its opening, STAPLES Center has been the site of Lakers and Sparks championships, the Kings Stanley Cup, and thousands of memorable concerts and special events. Read on for some of the greatest moments in STAPLES Center history.