United States President-Elect Donald Trump spoke with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on the telephone Wednesday to “express his strong support for the Olympics and Los Angeles 2024 plans to host a great Games,” according to a post by the bid committee on Twitter.
The call, arranged by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, could help stabilize a foundation from which the two leaders can engage and build trust over U.S. efforts to host the first Summer Games since 1996 after two subsequent failed attempts. Garcetti himself engaged the President-Elect by phone last week to discuss various domestic issues along with the bid.
Trump’s contact with Bach will be noted as a positive sign by the international sports leader who has aggressively sought out dialogue and personal meetings with over 100 national leaders since taking the helm of the IOC in 2013. It will also serve to help alleviate fears that the Republican President and his divisive campaign rhetoric could lead him to turn against the Olympics and hurt L.A.’s chances at hosting the Games.
National leaders typically provide support for their nation’s bids and often appear at the final presentation before the vote to help woo the influential group of IOC members. There has been no indication that Trump, who does not take office until January, will attend that final presentation scheduled for September 13 in Lima, Peru. President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama were prominent in the final presentation for Chicago 2016 when that city bid for the Games in 2009, but earlier this year Trump criticized the current President for traveling to Copenhagen, where the vote was held, without knowing he would be successful.
Los Angeles is competing with Budapest and Paris to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.