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L.A.’s Olympic bid team adds Allyson Felix as key speaker


Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election looms over the race for the 2024 Summer Games as the three bid cities prepare to make their first presentations to a key gathering of global Olympic officials.

With 10 months left until the vote, bid leaders from Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest, Hungary, have traveled to Doha, Qatar, to pitch their case to the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

The Los Angeles bid team may have the most at stake in the 20-minute presentation. Comments made by the President Elect during the campaign about Muslims and Mexicans and his foreign policy plans could impact the city’s standing with some of the IOC’s members, who represent a wide range of countries and cultural and religious backgrounds.

“For some of the IOC members, they would say, ‘Wait a second, can we go to a country like that, where we’ve heard things that we take offense to?”’ Garcetti said in August.

Los Angeles bid leader, Casey Wasserman a vocal Clinton supporter remains optimistic. “I think the Olympics are at its best when they rise above politics,” he stated. “It has the ability to unite people. Our bid isn’t a political bid. It’s a private bid with political support. We are privately funded and privately operated. We are one step removed from the politics and the ups and downs of politics.”

L.A. born Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, will be a key speaker for the presentation. Felix won two relay golds and a silver medal in the 400 meters in the 2016 Rio Games to become the most decorated U.S. woman in Olympic track and field history.

“She’s born, bred, raised and developed in Los Angeles. She’s a hometown girl,” Wasserman said. “I can’t think of anybody better to tell our story.”

The Doha meeting will be attended by more than 1,000 delegates from around the world. The audience will include officials from 205 national Olympic committees, international sports federations and dozens of members of the International Olympic Committee, which will vote on the host city next September in Lima, Peru.

In a post-election statement, the L.A. 2024 committee congratulated Trump. “We look forward to working closely with President-elect Trump and his administration across the federal government to deliver a ‘New Games for a New Era’ that will benefit and inspire the entire Olympic movement in 2024.”

Whether Trump will be part of the Los Angeles bid team in Lima hasn’t been confirmed. In 2009, President Barack Obama went to Copenhagen on behalf of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. The city went out in the first round and the bid was eventually awarded to Rio.