Photo: When O.J. Simpson Carried L.A.'s Olympic Torch
O.J. Simpson, who had retired from the NFL in 1979 but remained in the public spotlight, jogged up the California Incline carrying the Olympic torch on July 22, 1984, just days before the 1984 Summer Olympics opened at the Coliseum. The picture, which comes from the Los Angeles Public Library archive, was taken by Javier Mendoza for the Herald Examiner.It had taken a chain of 4,200 runners—running one-kilometer segments over 82 days—to deliver the Olympic torch across the U.S. to Los Angeles. Jogging to the left of and slightly behind Simpson is the late Nicole Brown, who would become his second wife the next year. Simpson would be accused, and later acquitted, of Brown's 1994 murder. But all that was still to come.
In July 1985, Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner were still married, the Manson courtroom had yet to be unseated as the "trial of the century," and Rodney King was in his late teens. As Simpson ran up the incline connecting the Pacific Coast Highway to Ocean Avenue and the crowds cheered, Los Angeles—and the world— were still his oyster.
The former USC football-star is currently serving out a kidnapping, assault and robbery sentence in a Nevada prison.
In other news, L.A. is currently competing for the 2024 Summer Olympics (we've previously hosted in 1932 and 1984), and that bid got a big boost Wednesday when members of Congress—joined by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti—unveiled a bipartisan resolution expressing general support for the city's bid. The resolution, which still needs to be approved by Congress, received vocal support from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), according to City News Service.
[Simpson was granted parole on July 20, 2017 and is expected to be released in October.]
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