As a result of the youth programme, around 1.3 million participants benefitted from the sporting, academic and cultural initiatives offered from 1981 to 1984.
Los Angeles 1984 created a legacy of new development programmes to encourage young people to learn about the Olympic Games, to participate in Olympic-related activities, and to continue their involvement in sport after the Games ended.
Los Angeles 1984’s approach to youth programmes differed significantly from those of previous organisers. Academic, cultural and sports programmes were offered to young people in specific areas and neighbourhoods over a four-year period, rather than the usual three-week programmes centred only around the Olympic Games themselves.
Investment in these youth programmes became the catalyst for new initiatives in sports such as handball, judo, sailing and archery. The 1984 Olympic Games also created a legacy for future junior sports enthusiasts by donating facilities and equipment to schools, youth groups, municipal recreation departments and private organisations.
In addition, schools were urged to educate the students of Southern California about the Olympic Games and ideals of the Olympic Movement. The educational programmes developed by the Organising Committee targeted school children, and included workshops, academic decathlon competitions and the distribution of an “Olympic Youth Handbook” that promoted the Olympic values.
Thanks to a thoughtful selection of sponsors, the programmes were all adequately funded, and partnerships with sports clubs and cultural organisations continued after the Olympic Games had ended. School-based and youth sports organisations continue to benefit from the LA84 Foundation, a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, which in 2017 made grants totalling USD 3.8 million.