The Trump presidency has created a major, perhaps insurmountable, hurdle for Los Angeles to overcome in its bid to secure a third Olympic Games later this year, Olympic historians said in remarks reported Tuesday.
Los Angeles bid and city officials, already in a tight race for the 2024 Olympic Games with Paris, must now navigate through the remaining eight months of a global campaign against the backdrop of 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.
Los Angeles 2024 and United States Olympic Committee officials spent much of the weekend working quietly behind the scenes with U.S. government officials to ensure Iran’s archery team would be able to travel to a World Cup event in Las Vegas Feb. 10-12, according to the Register, Iran is one of the seven Muslim nations named in President Donald Trump’s executive order banning most citizens from those countries from entering the U.S.
While LA 2024 and the USOC were able to secure assurance from federal officials that the Iranian team would be allowed to travel to Las Vegas, it is a scenario likely to be repeated in the months leading to the International Olympic Committee’s September election of the host city for the 2024 Olympic Games, The Register reported.
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.”
Olympic historians and longtime IOC watchers told the Register it is important for Los Angeles city and bid officials to distance themselves from Trump and his policies and sooner rather than later.