Yes, you read that right – an exclamation point and a question mark.
My fair city has been put forth as the US candidate to host the 2024 summer Olympics. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I adore the Olympics. I love the cheesy ceremonies, the serious politics that get brought up when we all get together to hit a few balls around (see: the Russian government’s stance on homosexuality), the live-tweeting and medal hysteria, the theme songs and backstories to make us care even more when they miss that shot/jump/step.
But here? I’m… skeptical.
The mega fan in me says that this is the chance of a lifetime. I don’t really care about claims that “without the Olympics, Boston can never be world class” – if we cared, you’d know by know, world. But to have the games here, where my friends and I can go volunteer, cheer, show off our history and cannolis, winding streets and brick buildings – I love that part of bringing the games to Boston.
Yet the critic in me says that the games are never done right – people on the margins of the host city always suffer, along with the the city’s budget. Plus, our transportation system is as antique as our state’s stance on alcohol (no discounts ever, not even allowed to use Groupons to get cheaper booze, etc.). If it’s going to take them 52 weekends over 3 years to fix the Longfellow Bridge just so two trains can move on it at once, how can we possibly get ready to host a global event in a mere 9 years? (Note: that statement makes me feel old. I used to think tomorrow was far away!)
The good news is that no one asked me… yet. The city claims that they’re going to hold public conferences to let people be involved in the planning process. And to be fair, the process seems good so far – lots of plans to reuse college campuses for housing and events and such. Plus, this might be the GIANT kick in the rear that we need to bring our transportation system into the late 19th century (let’s not get too excited here – the 20th is still ages away).
At the end of the day, I trust my city to try to do this right, as much as any city can – now, let’s see if we get the chance!
What do you think about Boston being picked to host the Olympics? Do you think it would be a good or bad move for the city, state, and residents?