LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles may have come up against a major, perhaps insurmountable, hurdle in its bid to secure a third Olympic Games in the Trump presidency.
Los Angeles 2024 bid and city officials were already in a tight race for the Games with Paris. The remaining eight months of its global campaign now has to deal with the mounting concerns about the viability of an American bid within the international sports community and a growing number of foreign politicians, The Orange County Register reported.
In a statement Monday, USOC leaders said the government told them it would work to ensure athletes from all countries would have expedited access to the United States for international competitions.
A World Cup archery event is scheduled for Las Vegas on Feb. 10.
Iran, one of the seven countries listed on the ban, brought one archer, Zahra Nemati, to last year’s Olympics. The status of Iran’s archery team for the World Cup is not known.
The U.S. wrestling team travels to Iran next month for a World Cup event, and the head of the federation said plans are still in place for that trip.
Other events in the United States later this year include the Boston Marathon and Prefontaine Classic in track and field, World Cup cycling events and another World Cup archery contest. When those events take place, the impact of the ban and its legality could be different than it is currently.
“We’re in contact with (track’s international federation) and the USOC, and we’re all committed to doing whatever we can for athletes to travel however they need to for events,” said Jill Geer of USA Track and Field.
All this comes with the International Olympic Committee set to award the 2024 Olympics in September. Los Angeles is a finalist, along with Paris and Budapest, Hungary.
In a statement, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti depicted the bid as one for “a low-risk Games that gathers nations together, showcases American values, and brings benefits, not burdens, to our community.”
“I am confident that the IOC will evaluate our bid on these merits,” he said.
In announcing their latest contact with the government, USOC chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun issued a joint statement Monday recognizing that “the Olympic Movement was founded based upon principles of diversity and inclusion.”
“We also acknowledge the difficult task of providing for the safety and security of a nation,” the statement said. “It is our sincere hope that the executive order as implemented will appropriately recognize the values on which our nation, as well as the Olympic Movement, were founded.”
Describing the first 10 days of the Trump administration as “a catastrophe” for Los Angeles’ bid, Alma College professor Derick L. Hulme told
the Register that the new president could also set back other American bids for potentially more than a decade.
“In many ways I would be extremely surprised if any U.S. city would be a viable candidate (in the coming years) because of Trump,” said Hulme, author of “The Political Olympics: Moscow, Afghanistan, and the 1980 U.S. Boycott.”
“There might not be a viable U.S. candidate for eight to 16 years,” Hulme said.
“Trump has this reputation for being unpredictable, and that’s not going to go well with the IOC,” he said. “They’re not looking for problems. At this point they want to avoid uncertainty, and Trump makes a U.S. bid a significant risk. The Trump administration is behaving in such a reckless fashion.”
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