LA 2024 bid team tries to soothe nerves over Trump
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.