Trump presidency would not hurt 2024 bid: LA mayor

Tue Mar 8, 2016 7:53pm EST
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By Steve Keating

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (Reuters) - Even as U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump raises concerns among world leaders, the mayor of Los Angeles is confident that whoever reaches the White House will not hurt his city's chances of landing the 2024 Olympics.

"This is something that transcends politics," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) media summit on Tuesday. "Sports doesn't ask what your party affiliation is.

"When the dust settles on these presidential campaigns and we have a new president he or she will squarely be behind Los Angeles' bid to bring these Games back to the U.S.

"This is something that breaks down walls and something that brings us together."

Making that pitch to the International Olympic Committee, who will select a 2024 host in 2017, could prove challenging if Trump wins the U.S. presidency in November and follows through on his plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Los Angeles is up against European glamor cities Paris, Rome and Budapest in the race to host the 2024 Summer Games.

USOC chairman Larry Probst conceded that at a time when Los Angeles is throwing out a welcome mat to the world the anti-immigration rhetoric being put forward by some presidential candidates will not make the challenge any easier.

"At the end of the day this is about building positive relationships with the IOC membership," Probst said after a USOC board meeting where they were briefed by LA24 officials. "There are extraneous things we can't control.   Continued...

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane