LA 2024 bid team tries to soothe nerves over Trump

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Los An­ge­les 2024 bid of­fi­cials sought yes­ter­day to re­as­sure the “Olympic fam­ily” fol­low­ing the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, claim­ing the US was an “out­ward look­ing” coun­try. The Amer­i­can city, along­side ri­vals Paris and Bu­dapest, un­veiled for the first time de­tails of their bids to host the Sum­mer Olympics in eight years’ time to the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees’ Gen­eral Assem­bly be­ing held in Qatar.

Al­though they did not men­tion the pres­i­dent elect by name the LA mayor Eric Garcetti and six-time Olympic gold medal­list Allyson Felix tried to address con­cerns del­e­gates might have about a US bid fol­low­ing com­ments made by Trump dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“My vi­sion of Amer­ica is a coun­try that is in­formed by the Olympic vi­sion,” said Garcetti.

“An Amer­ica that re­mains ac­tively en­gaged in the world. “An Amer­ica that is out­ward look­ing, ready to play its role along­side the com­pet­ing na­tions to address our world’s most press­ing chal­lenges.” Min­utes ear­lier, Felix told del­e­gates that Amer­ica needed the Olympics “now more than ever”.

She also told del­e­gates “don’t doubt us”. There has been spec­u­la­tion that Trump’s elec­tion vic­tory could harm Los An­ge­les’ chances.

His re­marks on pol­icy is­sues dur­ing the cam­paign, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing a po­ten­tial ban on Mus­lims go­ing to Amer­ica and call­ing il­le­gal Mex­i­can im­mi­grants rapists, are seen by some as be­ing po­ten­tially harm­ful to LA’s bid out­side the US.

Each city gave a 30-minute pre­sen­ta­tion on their 2024 bid to some 1,000 del­e­gates gath­ered in Doha.

LA went first and were fol­lowed by out­sider Bu­dapest, which claimed it only needed to build three more are­nas to be ready for the games. The chair­man of Bu­dapest’s bid, Balazs Fur­jes, played on the rel­a­tive small size of the Hun­gar­ian cap­i­tal, claim­ing a “mid­size global city” should be awarded the Olympics.

“We of­fer some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent, it’s the right city at the right time,” he said. “A real al­ter­na­tive.

Last up was Paris, which in­cluded con­tri­bu­tions from Tony Es­tanguet, a three-time Olympic ca­noe slalom cham­pion and Paris mayor Anne Hi­dalgo. She em­pha­sised the cul­tural as­pects of the French bid and said: “At Paris 2024, we will swim in the River Seine, we will travel in driver-less ve­hi­cles. “We will open our doors and hearts to the world, to share our love of life and love of oth­ers. I know, each of you has a unique his­tory with Paris.” Los An­ge­les and Paris are seen as the favourites to hos the 2024 games.

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee will make its fi­nal de­ci­sion in Septem­ber.

PHILADEL­PHIA: In this July 28, 2016 file photo, Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks dur­ing the fi­nal day of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. With 10 months be­fore the vote in the race for the 2024 Sum­mer Games, bid lead­ers from Los An­ge­les, Paris and Bu­dapest, Hun­gary, have trav­eled to Doha, Mon­day, to pitch their case to the gen­eral assem­bly of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees.

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