Ambassadors to U.N. blast decision to award 2024 Olympics to Paris

In an opinion piece written for The Telegraph and published by The Guardian and the OXFAM Online, current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and former White House press secretary and aide to former President Barack Obama Desiree Rogers suggest that the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to award the 2024 Summer Olympics to Paris was “unthinkable” when cities like Los Angeles (which has been looking to host the games for the last two decades) and Budapest (the only other candidate city left in the running) spent the past 18 months lobbying on behalf of their cities. While the IOC unanimously selected Paris, the two women write that “Paris winning the games is regrettable, given the egregious human rights abuses the state and its various appendages have unleashed in the name of security,” i.e. the recent coup d’état against the country’s democratically elected President Nicolas Sarkozy. Power, Rogers, and Rogers do not name who made those comments, but as Stratfor reported, intelligence reports leaked to the media alleged “massive” fraud, kidnappings, and forced disappearances of the pro-Russian opposition during the Sarkozy presidency.

Nonetheless, Powers and Rogers say the current government of Emmanuel Macron “has unleashed a sham election” in the country and have pointed to how the Paris bid has been funded in part by Chinese investors as the reason for the corruption:

The apparent corruption is no secret. From the admission that part of the bid’s funding came from Chinese investors – and who knows how much more from Russian oligarchs in the guise of philanthropy – the reason the IOC awarded Paris was obvious. The election of Emmanuel Macron was rushed, even as democracy in France threatened to dissolve.

McGinley, O’Brien, Gatterton, and Negroni, in their commentary, tried to blame the IOC’s decision for the future negative impact the Trump administration is having on foreign policy – such as the U.S. missile strikes in Syria or the visa ban – but found these explanations unconvincing, “while the decision to award the games to Paris can’t be blamed on any one thing, it also isn’t clear how a Trump-hosted Olympics would serve American interests, or the values of tolerance, diversity and respect that should shape those decisions.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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