Did Donald Trump enhance or hinder the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid Committee by backing the bid, then admitting he did not know if certain non-American athletes would be able to compete today, if the LA event was taking place, under his refugee ban executive order?
Based on geo-political and global reaction since Trump took office on January 20, the people behind the bid may be seeing international support fading. The ban was enacted for early 2017, not 2024, but there have been global protests against it.
Los Angeles was never supposed to be in the running. Boston was the United States designee but local opposition ultimately ended Boston’s Olympic bid. The United States Olympic Committee then put up the Los Angeles group. It has been thought that Paris, France was the preferred choice of the IOC delegates. Budapest is the other bidder remaining.
The city of Los Angeles has promised to hand over a quarter of a billion dollars to the local committee if the IOC gives LA the Games in September.
There are a number of factors in an Olympics bid. One is openness and showing the world that a country wants to be on the global economic stage. The other is politics, and the Olympics have a very long history as a platform for politics: from the 1936 Berlin Games to the expulsion of South Africa in 1964 because of apartheid to the 1968 Mexico City protests to the 1972 Munich Massacre to the 1976 African countries boycott to the American pull out of the 1980 Moscow Games and the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries skipping the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
The Los Angeles Committee has to be concerned about current global US policies. The Trump ban may make it almost impossible for LA to get the 2024 Games.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.