(ATR) IOC Member Gian-Franco Kasper says new United States President Donald Trump will not impact his 2024 vote in September.
Kasper is president of the International Ski Federation and has served as an IOC Member since 2000. He told Australian news agency AAP that the current political situation in the U.S. would not impact his vote.
"I do not believe that this will have a direct influence," Kasper said. "The vote will not take place until September. Until then, a lot can happen.
"For me, the battle is played out on the [Games] concept, and on what the organizers propose."
Since taking office in January, Trump has passed a number of controversial executive orders, which to some observers were seen as a potential roadblock for the LA 2024 Olympic bid. One of those orders, an eventually reversed travel ban on seven countries, led to other IOC members to speak out against the U.S.
Richard Peterkin, an IOC member from St. Lucia, lambasted the executive order calling it "contrary to Olympic ideals" on social media right after the order was enacted. Peterkin clarified his remarks after the United States Olympic Committee worked with the U.S. State Department to allow athletes from the affected countries to compete in the U.S.
"Good response and release from USOC on recent Executive Order," Peterkin said. "[It] shows the important role that NOCs play to maintain good government relations."
Budapest 2024, HOC Provide Sport Expertise to Technology Exhibit
The Budapest 2024 bid committee is seeking to increase sports exposure to Hungarian youth through an exhibit featuring high-tech interactive displays.
The bid team has partnered with the Hungarian Olympic Committee and a company from the entertainment sector to create ‘The Champion’ exhibit. Budapest 2024 and the HOC were approached to add sport expertise to the project and demonstrate what it’s like to be an Olympian.
Budapest 2024 hired Olympian Tibor Benedek to lead the project. He says the idea is to get kids as involved as possible in sport before the exhibition closes April 7.
"Approximately 300 children have joined us and I think this is what I like seeing the most," Benedek told EuroNews. "I want them to come here and get acquainted with different sports while learning more about themselves and their potential."
"The main goal was clear from the beginning, to bring sport closer to the youth," a Budapest 2024 spokesperson tells Around the Rings.
"It’s all about the youth and to have more and more kids trying out different types of sports. Every week we have a different Olympic champion give an exhibition tour and at the end the key was not only the amount of people at the exhibition but the amount of people doing sport."
While the bid focuses its efforts on involving youth in sport, an opposition party is seeking to end the Olympic project before it gathers more steam. The Hungarian NOlimpia group called Momentum Mozgalom is collecting signatures on a petition to hold a referendum on the Games.
ATR understands the group has until Feb. 17 to collect the required 138,000 signatures and that it is expected to announce whether it has achieved its goal Friday. It could then take up to 45 days for the petition signatures to be ratified.
Olympism in Paris Schools
Starting in 2017 Olympism will be taught to Parisian students.
The Mayor of Paris, President of the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF), and the Rector of the Academy of Paris will sign an agreement on Feb. 21 to introduce Olympism into the school curriculum next year. A course entitled "On your mark, get set, Paris! Living history and values of Olympism" is one part of an initiative set "to facilitate access to sport for pupils," according to a release.
In addition to the new course, "flexible working hours for classes" will be introduced in select Parisian schools for high performance young athletes. The initiative is part of the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics the release added.
Paris 2024 says that around 15,000 students would be impacted by the new program.
Written by Aaron Bauer and Kevin Nutley
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