Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has claimed that the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has not affected his city’s chances of winning its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Trump’s controversial victory over Hillary Clinton last November was described as “a catastrophe” for Los Angeles’ bid by some observers, who claimed it would hand victory to Paris, their only rivals.
The multi-billionaire businessman has been President for 72 days now but Garcetti insisted that he has not so far received any negative comments from International Olympic Committee (IOC) members.
This is despite Trump’s controversial executive order banning most citizens from seven countries that are mostly Muslim from entering the US.
Garcetti, a high-profile supporter of Clinton, is at the annual SportAccord Convention here to spearhead Los Angeles’ bid and a strong part of his message will be that the Californian city enjoys strong support, both publicly and politically.
Polls in Los Angeles have shown that 88 percent of local citizens support the bid and Garcetti claimed that the White House is also firmly behind the campaign.
“We’ve got a unified country and unified city around this Olympic bid,” Garcetti told insidethegames.
“The Olympics transcends politics – I don’t think people review who was head of state when the last 10 cities won and when the Olympics were actually conducted.
“We have the support of the President for this bid and that is separate from the politics where we may disagree on other things.
“I thank him for that.”
Archery was among the sports affected by Trump’s executive order as they struggled to get visas for athletes from Iran to compete in the US.
The ban was later overruled before being introduced in a different format only to be blocked again.
Garcetti claims that hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 would help ensure that the US does not become more insular.
“I think at this moment in the United States I want to see how America engages with the world and the Olympics helps us do that,” he said.
“For those who might be looking in at the US they can actually help guide this country in the world by reminding Americans that we are strongest when we are engaged with the world, not closed off to it.”
Garcetti is part of a high-level Los Angeles 2024 delegation, which also includes chairman Casey Wasserman, chief executive Gene Sykes and vice-chair and four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans.
They will be supported by America’s three IOC members – Anita DeFrantz, Angela Ruggiero and Larry Probst – in making a 10-minute presentation to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations General Assembly on Tuesday (April 4).
The event, however, is expected to be dominated by discussions about whether the IOC should award the 2024 and 2028 Olympics together at its Session in Lima on September 13.
Garcetti has insisted that Los Angeles is focused only on hosting 2024, while Paris claim they cannot stage 2028 because the land they have earmarked for the Olympic Village will not be available by then.
By Duncan Mackay
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.