Mayor Walsh and Governor Patrick Expected to Attend Event Pushing for Olympics to Come to Boston
Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Deval Patrick are planning to spend time with 30 Olympic athletes who have ties to Massachusetts during a special event next week as a local non-profit group continues to make a strong push to bring the 2024 summer Olympics to Boston.
On October 6, Patrick and Walsh are expected to stroll over to Blazing Paddles on Lansdowne Street, where they will meet up with the members of the Boston 2024 Partnership, the private organization that has its eye on turning the area into a mecca for world-class competitors in the next 10 years. While there, the elected officials will mingle with figure-skating champion Nancy Kerrigan, Harvard College women’s hockey star A.J. Mleczko Griswold, and bronze-medal winning judo fighter Jimmy Pedro, who has competed in four Olympics games, according to event details.
The meet-and-greet, organized by the Boston 2024 Partnership, is being marked as nothing more than an “exciting” opportunity to bring together a diverse cast of previous Olympic athletes who have put the state on the map when competing in the world games. But the underlying message of the Governor and Mayor’s appearances at the gathering raises questions about whether or not they’re supporting an Olympic bid.
In June, after a brief visit to Cambridge, officials from the United States Olympic Committee announced that they narrowed a potential list of cities to host the 2024 Summer Olympics down to just four, and Boston made the cut. The news followed a lengthy report written up by a state-appointed committee, called the Special Commission Relative to the Feasibility of Hosting the Summer Olympics in the Commonwealth, that outlined the pros and cons of the city being a possible contender for the future games.
In a statement about the October 6 event, Walsh didn’t reveal too much about his opinion on the matter, but said regardless of the outcome, his hope is that the Boston 2024 Partnership’s continued efforts will “promote a better long-term relationship with our local Olympic heroes.”
“Boston is known across the world for its sports prowess and this impressive group of Massachusetts-bred Olympians is a testament to our sporting spirit. I look forward to joining Governor Patrick to meet these incredibly accomplished and inspiring athletes and hear their thoughts on Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Games,” he said.
Patrick, who has less than 100 days in office, said he thinks there’s a “great opportunity to develop a successful plan” for a 2024 bid. “The fact that the proponents of this adventure are thinking big about the Commonwealth is something I think is good for Massachusetts,” he said in a statement.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are also on the short list of U.S. cities in the running to host the Olympics. Although the prospect has some excited—others remain concerned, specifically about the aftermath of the competitions—there are still many roadblocks to overcome before Boston takes center stage for a large-scale sporting event of this kind.
First, the USOC would need to decide if they even want to submit a bid on behalf of the U.S. Then, if they do, the organization would need to pick between the four remaining cities before confirming their decision with the International Olympic Committee by 2015. After that, it would be up to the IOC to decide if the U.S. contestant would beat out the other cities across the globe also hoping to host the games, a decision that would be handed down in 2017.
While Patrick seems optimistic about the group’s efforts after the city was added to the USOC list, others have formed groups with the goal of taking Boston out of the running.