Trump Backs LA 2024 Olympic Bid In White House Meeting With IOC Chief Bach

U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday restated his support for Los Angeles’ bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 during a high-level meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach at the White House in Washington D.C.

Amid a tight battle between Los Angeles and rival bid city Paris for the 2024 Games, Bach was in the the U.S. this week to attend a meeting with new Olympic sponsor Intel that was held in New York.  Bach spoke to Trump earlier this year when the latter President initially expressed support for his nation’s bid and extended an invitation for the visit.

Following the meeting that was also attended by U.S. IOC members Larry Probst, Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero, an IOC spokesperson said “Trump confirmed his support for the Los Angeles candidature.”

The IOC Executive Board earlier this month proposed that both LA and Paris be awarded the 2024 and 2028 Games, a motion that should be rubber-stamped by the IOC membership at a meeting July 11.  Both cities, however, say they are aiming only for 2024 and the IOC has yet to disclose how the allocation would take place.

Due to Trump’s isolationist policies and the recent election of popular Emmanuel Macron in France, there is speculation that the IOC might be more comfortable with Paris going first, then Los Angeles in 2028 – which would occur after Trump’s term-limit has ended.

Both the White House and the IOC have kept quiet about the meeting and have yet to disclose any details about the discussion that took place.

IOC President Thomas Bach (left) signs sponsorship agreement with Intel in New York (IOC Photo)
IOC President Thomas Bach (right) signs sponsorship agreement with Intel in New York (IOC Photo)

Macron last month pledged that he would attend the July 11 meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland where both cities are set to present the technical aspects of their bids to stakeholders, and would travel to Lima, Peru in September when the IOC elects the winning city.  Trump has yet to make the same commitment.

In 2009 then U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to support Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Games, but the plan backfired and he was informed while returning home in Air Force One that his city place fourth out of as many candidates.  Rio had won the Games.

Last year, Obama recollected that he felt the decision “was a little cooked.”  The President, however, had not previously met with Jacques Rogge who was IOC President at the time.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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