Los Angeles 2024 Olympics Bid on Damage Control Following Trump Win

Posted on: November 14, 2016, 06:50h. 

Last updated on: November 14, 2016, 07:55h.

Los Angeles 2024 Olympics Donald Trump
Donald Trump carried the Olympic torch in New York circa 2004, but his election to the US presidency might now damper Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympics bid. (Image: Chad Rachman/AFP Photo)

The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic board (LA 2024) will present its case to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week in Qatar. The US group is expected to address the elephant in the room, Donald Trump.

Trump’s historic win on November 8th will be looming over the United States Olympic Committee and LA 2024 organizers. The US team’s pitch will be made before 1,000 international delegates in the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Trump’s foreign policy positions, including comments about illegal Mexican immigrants being rapists, and proposing a ban on Muslims trying to enter the country, could lessen Los Angeles’ chances of being awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics.

However, LA 2024, the official group leading the drive to bring the Games to America, believes Trump will be a viable ally. “LA 2024 congratulates President-elect Donald J. Trump and appreciates his longstanding support of the Olympic movement in the United States,” the organization said in a statement.

But LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, who is unrelated to resigned Democratic National Committee chairwoman and US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He also donated the $2,700 individual maximum to Wasserman Schultz’ reelection campaign.

Casey Wasserman told the Associated Press this week, “My personal support of Clinton isn’t an indictment of President-elect Trump’s ability to support our effort. We’re fully confident that he will be an enthusiastic supporter of the Olympics.”

Odds Unchanged

The final three city candidates for the 2024 Olympics are Paris, Los Angeles, and Budapest. Rome withdrew its bid last month.

It seems overseas sportsbooks have finally realized that betting against Trump is a potentially costly endeavor.

Paris has long been the favorite to win the Games, followed by Los Angeles and then Budapest. Trump’s election might have been thought to diminish the US’ chances, but the lines remain relatively unchanged this week.

Coral lists Paris as the favorite at 8/13, Los Angeles at 9/4, and Budapest at 9/2. Betfair is offering Paris at 4/6, Los Angeles at 19/10, and Budapest at 9/5.

The November 15th presentations before the IOC has the potential to modify those lines. Olympic officials from 205 committees, along with dozens of international sporting federations and the IOC itself, will be in attendance.

The IOC will announce the 2024 Summer Olympics host next September.

Safe Bet

Unlike in years past, the IOC is expected to look for a more stable host for the Olympics. Its last two events, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and last summer’s 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, have been surrounded in controversy.

Sochi cost an astounding $51 billion due to the Winter Games being held in a humid subtropical climate. There was also widespread disapproval over Russia’s handling of the LGBTQ community.

Rio received criticism for its inadequate infrastructure, and deflected concerns over its poor environment and high incidences of crime.

Infrastructure is already largely in place in Paris and Los Angeles, and both cities have already hosted the Olympics twice.

LA 2024 might try and make the case that Los Angeles would be the most secure host city. It was exactly one year ago that Paris was unraveling from a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that left 130 dead.

Europe’s open-border policy has been cited by media and political pundits as being one reason the attacks were able to be carried out.