Olympic vot­ers weigh Trump ef fect on L A 2024 bid

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

LAU­SANNE, Switzer­land (AP): DON­ALD TRUMP’S elec­tion as US pres­i­dent has the po­ten­tial to in­flu­ence Los Angeles’ chances of host­ing the 2024 Olympics. For bet­ter or worse.

Some In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) mem­bers – who will choose be­tween Los Angeles, Paris and Bu­dapest, Hun­gary, in a vote next Septem­ber – cited pos­si­ble pros and cons of Trump’s role in the Amer­i­can bid.

As a po­lar­is­ing pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Trump’s words on Mus­lims, Mex­i­cans and other is­sues could have of­fended some of the 98 IOC mem­bers from around the world who will se­lect the host city.

“It may have,” the IOC’s long­est-serv­ing mem­ber, Dick Pound of Canada, told The As­so­ci­ated Press (AP).

At the same time, Pound did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that Trump could help win votes if he trav­els to Lima, Peru, in Septem­ber to pitch the Los Angeles bid in per­son to the IOC ahead of the se­cret bal­lot.

South African IOC mem­ber Sam Ram­samy, whose coun­try has been de­scribed by Trump as a “very dan­ger­ous mess,” dis­missed any lin­ger­ing ef­fect with 10 months left be­fore the 2024 Olympic vote.

“He has been rude to every­body,” Ram­samy told the AP. “I don’t be­lieve it will af­fect bid­ding in any way.”

In a state­ment Wed­nes­day con­grat­u­lat­ing Trump, the Los Angeles 2024 bid com­mit­tee said the Olympics can “tran­scend pol­i­tics and can help unify our di­verse com­mu­ni­ties and our world.”

IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach of­fered a brief state­ment to the AP on Trump’s elec­tion.

TRUMP

“Let me con­grat­u­late Pres­i­dent-elect Trump on his vic­tory and wish him all the best for his term in of­fice for all the peo­ple of the United States and of the world,” he said.

While Trump has lit­tle track record with the Olympic movement, his op­po­nent, Hil­lary Clin­ton, was a sup­porter of New York’s failed bid for the 2012 Games and has at­tended sev­eral Olympics. She was First Lady when the US last hosted the Sum­mer Games – in At­lanta in 1996.

LAST FEW MONTHS

Pound be­lieves Los Angeles lead­ers will ur­gently want to meet with Trump to see if he is “an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of this ven­ture or not.”

“Your most im­por­tant cam­paign is at home,” Pound said, sug­gest­ing that IOC vot­ers and Olympic sports lead­ers can be swayed closer to elec­tion day. “The road­show only hap­pens in the last few months.”

Be­fore that fi­nal stretch of cam­paign­ing, the city’s big­gest ri­val – Paris – could have its own do­mes­tic pol­i­tics to ex­plain.

In May, France elects a pres­i­dent in a con­test many pre­dict will in­clude far-right can­di­date Ma­rine Le Pen among the two can­di­dates in a sec­ond round of vot­ing.

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