2024 Paris Olympics

Watch Team USA Olympic hopefuls tour Los Angeles

Ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, hopeful Olympians took in the sights and sounds of L.A.

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Many Olympic hopefuls are taking in the sights and sounds of Los Angeles with the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics just one year away. 

Team USA’s beach volleyball and basketball players, gymnasts, skateboarders and more came together to embark on a double-decker bus tour through Los Angeles. 

But some aren’t tourists. Beach volleyball players Kelly Cheng and Sarah Hughes are USC graduates and Southern California natives. 

“It’s so fun to be back and tour it from the top of this bus — it’s a different perspective,” Cheng said. 

Though the athletes visited L.A., they have their sights set on Paris. Gymnast Shi Jones is hoping to compete in her first Olympics.

“It means more than just, you know, ‘you’re at the biggest achievement and goal of your life,’ but just going out there with your teammates and family and knowing that you’ve worked so hard for this and so much sacrifices, it’s just unreal, really,” Jones said. 

Skateboarder Jagger Eaton — who won a bronze medal in Tokyo in 2021, the first year skateboarding was an Olympic sport — was also on the bus. 

“In skateboarding we never really had that type of avenue and when we did in Tokyo, it felt like I was at home now,” Eaton said. “It felt like I had a bigger journey than the normal skate contests.”

Eaton said the recognition of skateboarding as an Olympic sport brings "so much legitimacy to skateboarding on every level.”

The anticipation is building for the Paris games and for the next host city of the summer Olympics, Los Angeles. Robert Kocacik reports for the NBC4 News on July 26, 2023.

Some former Olympic gold medalists joined Eaton on the bus, including gymnast Suni Lee and women’s basketball player A’ja Wilson

“It’s just so surreal, I never thought I’d be able to make the Olympics, let alone win the Olympics, so I think it just proves that if you work hard every single day and you really believe in yourself — anything can happen,” Lee said. 

Wilson also reflected on her last trip to the Olympics, as well as what competing means to her. 

“We won it on my birthday, so it was a really good birthday gift,” Wilson said. “It was just amazing to be a part of the experience as a whole wearing those three letters across your chest and understanding the legacy, particularly on the basketball side, it truly meant the world to me.”

Less than a year before the games, training is beginning to ramp up. But at least for the day, these high profile athletes with Olympic dreams took a seat and soaked up some of sunny Southern California — and each other’s presence. 

“We may be in our respective fields in our respective sports, but we know exactly what it took to get here,” Wilson said. “The blood, the sweat, the tears, to get here. So to share these moments with these other phenomenal athletes. It’s a beautiful thing.”

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