International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will finally get his White House photo op.
Bach will meet with President Trump at the White House on Thursday, finally securing somethat that had eluded the IOC head during the Obama administration.
While the meeting comes less than three weeks before the IOC is expected to formalize a plan that likely will result in Los Angeles being awarded the 2028 Olympic Games, the city’s bid to host a third Olympic Games will not be the primary topic of discussion. Instead the informal meeting is an opportunity for the two men to get to know each other.
Neither Los Angeles 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman, chief executive Gene Sykes or Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will attend the meeting. The three U.S. IOC members — Larry Probst, Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero — will attend. Ruggiero, a former Olympic ice hockey player, is LA 2024’s chief strategy officer. DeFrantz is LA 2024’s senior advisor for legacy.
Bach, a former West German Olympic fencing champion, was invited to the White House by then President-elect Trump during a telephone conversation prior to his inauguration.
Bach has sought audiences with heads of state throughout his nearly four-year tenure as IOC president but was rebuffed by the Obama administration. Neither Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden attended the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi or the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, marking the first time since 2000 that a U.S. president, first lady or vice president hasn’t attended the Games.
Obama’s Sochi snub came in the wake of his criticism of Russian anti-LBGTQ laws and the Putin regime granting asylum to Edward Snowden.
Bach in turn took thinly veiled shots at Obama during his opening ceremony speech at Sochi, admonishing “the political leaders of the world” to “have the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful, direct political dialogue and not on the backs of these…