International Olympic Committee

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IOC president to meet Donald Trump, talk Olympic bid

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President Donald Trump will meet IOC President Thomas Bach for the first time on Thursday at the White House to discuss Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympic bid, according to The New York Times and ESPN.com.

The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, but Bach was in New York on Wednesday to announce the IOC’s new sponsorship deal with Intel.

Trump and Bach spoke by phone about LA 2024 in November, after Trump’s election.

Trump “expressed his strong support” for LA 2024 then, according to LA 2024. Trump later said he believed the IOC was “very happy” when it spoke with him about the bid.

“They wanted to have an endorsement from me, and I gave it to them very loud and clear,” Trump said in February. “I would love to see the Olympics go to Los Angeles. I think that it’ll be terrific. The United States committee’s members have asked me to speak up about it, and I have, and I think I’ve helped them, and let’s see what happens. But I’d be very happy and honored if they would choose Los Angeles, and we’d stand behind it.”

Los Angeles and Paris are vying for the 2024 Games, due to be voted on by IOC members on Sept. 13. But the IOC executive board recommended on June 9 that those two cities split the 2024 and 2028 Olympics instead.

Which city would get which Olympics would have to be decided. Both LA and Paris prefer 2024. Paris 2024’s stance is that it will only accept the 2024 Games. LA 2024 has repeated that it will not issue an ultimatum.

IOC members will vote on ratifying a double-awarding proposal in July.

If it’s ratified, Los Angeles will become the first U.S. Olympic host city since Salt Lake City in 2002 (Winter Games) and Atlanta in 1996, ending the U.S.’ longest drought between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

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McDonald’s ends longtime Olympic sponsorship 3 years early

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McDonald’s ended its Olympic sponsorship agreement after more than 40 years with the IOC, three years before their current deal runs out.

“In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities,” Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said in a press release. “For these reasons, we have mutually agreed with McDonald’s to part ways.”

McDonald’s will still be a PyeongChang 2018 sponsor, with its usual restaurants in the Olympic Park and Olympic Village.

McDonald’s receives plenty of Games-time buzz for its athletes’ village store, where athletes can get food for free.

The IOC has no immediate plans for a sponsor to replace McDonald’s.

McDonald’s airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games after they reported being homesick for American food. The restaurant became an official Olympic sponsor in 1976 and has been ever since.

It made its most headlines at the 1984 Los Angeles Games with a scratch-off promotion — “When the U.S. wins, you win” (commercial here). In a specified event, if the U.S. won gold, the giveaway was a free Big Mac. Silver, a regular order of fries. Bronze, a free Coca-Cola.

McDonald’s ended up giving away more food and drink than it anticipated because the Soviet Union announced a boycott two months before the Games. The U.S. earned 174 medals with 83 golds, about double the amounts from its previous Games.

Perhaps no high-profile Olympic athlete has enjoyed the free Olympic McDonald’s more than Usain Bolt, who famously wrote that he ate 1,000 chicken McNuggets at the 2008 Beijing Games.

In 2012, McDonald’s opened its largest freestanding restaurant in the world at the London Olympic Park for the Games, 32,000 square feet and two floors.

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After stars’ worry, Olympic golf to stay

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Golf was recommended by the IOC executive board to remain on the Olympic program through 2024, along with all sports from the Rio Games.

Golf’s place at the 2024 Olympics — either in Los Angeles or Paris — is set to be ratified by an IOC membership vote later this summer.

Golf was re-added to the Olympics in 2009, but only for 2016 and 2020. When golfers played in Rio, it marked the first Olympic tournaments in 112 years.

Olympic golf had its skeptics leading up to the Games as many men’s stars decided not to play for various reasons, including Jordan SpiethRory McIlroy and Jason Day.

“Because of how [Olympic golf is] being approached in golf circles … I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after [Tokyo 2020],” McIlroy said in May 2016.

Both Adam Scott and Gary Player said before Rio they believed Olympic golf should be for amateurs only.

“We’ve got to remember that a lot of people in golf across the world worked extremely hard to get golf back into the Olympics, and if the top players don’t play, we could get kicked out of the Olympics,” Player said in April 2016.

Then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said after the Rio Games that golf’s return to the Olympics was “a game-changer.” He was at the men’s final round with IOC president Thomas Bach in August and said Bach “was blown away.”

“Without me having to explain the situation to him, [Bach] explained to me why at the outset of our entry to the Olympics, we had some hesitation,” Finchem said. “He said, ‘We’ve seen it in a few other sports, but now they understand the power of being an Olympian, of being able to compete on this stage, of being able to interface with these wonderful athletes from all over the globe.’”

Bach said to “expect mammoth galleries” at Tokyo 2020.

Paris is favored to be awarded the 2024 Olympics. Its venue plan has golf at Le Golf National, which will host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid plan has golf at Riviera Country Club, which has hosted the PGA Tour stop in Los Angeles for more than 50 years. Riviera also held equestrian events at the 1932 Los Angeles Games, as noted by Olympic historian Bill Mallon.

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