Trump backs LA 2024 Olympic bid during call with IOC head Thomas Bach

Trump backs LA 2024 Olympic bid during call with IOC head Thomas Bach
Donald Trump has told International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach that he strongly supports Los Angeles' bid to host the 2024 Games.

According to bid team officials, US President-elect Trump spoke to Bach on Wednesday in a call arranged by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Trump's shock election victory last month over Hillary Clinton was initially thought to be harmful to Los Angeles' bid, following some of the Republican's controversial comments relating to diversity, race and gender in the run-up to the election.

It was suggested that Trump's views could turn voting IOC members against Los Angeles, as it battles against European rivals Budapest and Paris for the right to host the Games.

Los Angeles previously hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984, but bids from New York (2012) and Chicago (2016) failed, leaving Atlanta as the last US city to host the games, back in 1996.

With Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban currently dividing opinion in Europe with his strong views on migration and French President Francois Hollande confirming he will not stand for a second term, a charm offensive by Trump could swing the race in the direction of LA.

Top US sprinter Allyson Felix recently implored IOC members not to allow Trump's victory to affect their thinking regarding Los Angeles' bid.

Felix, the key speaker for the bid as it made its first public presentation to officials in Doha, urged officials to look beyond Trump's pre-election comments.

"We just finished our presidential election and some of you may question America's commitment to its founding principles," Felix said, as reported by the Guardian.

"I have one message for you: Please don't doubt us. America's diversity is our greatest strength.

"We're also a nation with individuals like me, descendants of people who came to America, not of their own free will but against it.

"But we're not a nation that clings to our past, no matter how glorious – or how painful. Americans rush toward the future.

"I believe LA is a perfect choice for the 2024 Games, because the face of our city reflects the face of the Olympic movement itself."

The IOC will make its final decision at a meeting in Lima, Peru, in September 2017.