Casitas and the Olympics
Photo © 1984 Michael Kane
Lake Casitas and the Olympics
Casitas Rowing Looks at the Olympics Then and Now
Following the stories and excitement of the London 2012 Olympics, Casitas Rowing takes a look into history and the lake’s turn in 1984 as the world’s rowing venue. See memorabilia and views of the lake transformed for the Olympics, plus comparative views of celebrations in London 2012. Thanks to Casitas Rowers Victoria Adam, Dan Richards, and Nancy Osborne, along with photographer Michael Kane, for use of their images.
Despite difficult and unpredictable times, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics became one of the most profitable sporting events of all time, generating $232.5 million in surplus funds. This achievement is credited to the business acumen of the committee selected to oversee the Olympics. The success of the Los Angeles Olympic Games carries on today through the LA84 Foundation, created with proceeds from the event. Grants by LA84 have supported youth rowing at the Lake Casitas Rowing Association along with over 1,000 other sports programs in the Los Angeles area.
LA84 archives Olympic information, including the AAF 20th Anniversary Report describing how the 1984 Games became a financial triumph, plus descriptions of how Lake Casitas was transformed (see Section 7.03.6 of the Official Report (PDF).
“Lake Casitas in Ventura County was the site for the canoeing and rowing competitions. […] It serves as a domestic water supply and a fishing and recreation area. All construction at Lake Casitas for the Olympic Games was temporary and completely removed after the Games.”
“A Jet Float bridge was the major addition for 1984. It connected the athlete area to the operations area.”
“Boats were stored in eight 20-foot by 20-foot tents located near the five launch docks in the athletes’ day village. Five tents housed rowing shells and three housed canoes and kayaks. These tents had a total of 17 bays, each 20 feet by 40 feet.”
— Official Report of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad
Today, Casitas Rowing respects the history of the lake as an Olympic venue, and also honors its purpose as an environmental sanctuary and important reservoir for Southern California.