- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2015

The U.S. Olympic Committee on Thursday selected Boston over Washington and two other cities as the United States’ candidate for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“This selection is in recognition of our city’s talent, diversity and global leadership,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “Our goal is to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all.”

Boston will now compete on the international stage. Rome is the only other city that has officially entered a bid, but Germany, France, South Africa and other nations are also considering efforts.

“We’re excited about our plans to submit a bid for the 2024 Games and feel we have an incredibly strong partner in Boston that will work with us to present a compelling bid,” U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst said.

Boston competed against Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles with a modest — by the standards of Olympic games — $4.5 billion bid.

The Olympic committee’s board will travel to Boston for a formal announcement of the decision Friday.

Members of the U.S. Olympic Committee praised Boston’s selection as a contender for the summer games.

“This bid uniquely combines an exciting, athlete-focused concept for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Boston’s existing long-term vision,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said. “We look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and the Boston 2024 team to fully engage with the local community and identify ways we can make the bid even better.”

The announcement was a sting to D.C. officials who had aggressively courted the games. Mayor Muriel Bowser was part of a five-person team that made the pitch to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In reaction to Thursday’s news that Boston had won the bid, she issued a statement congratulating Boston residents and officials.

“They have my full support, and I will be cheering them on to bring the games to America,” Bowser said.

Bowser added that the regional cooperation required between the District and surrounding jurisdictions just to submit a competitive bid was not in vain.

“We must build on the tremendous regional and federal cooperation embodied in the DC 2024 Olympic bid, in focusing on the big issues facing our region—transportation, affordable housing and expanding job opportunities for residents in the District of Columbia,” she said.

The snub was a sigh of relief for D.C. residents who worried about the disruption the massive international event would bring to the city and questioned whether the astronomical costs typically associated with the preparing for and hosting the games would be a worthwhile investment for the city.

There is also organized opposition to hosting the games in Boston as well.

Opposition group No Boston Olympics said in a statement issued Thursday, “The boosters behind Boston2024 won today — but our Commonwealth is poorer for it.”

The United States hasn’t hosted the Summer Games since 1996 in Atlanta. More recent attempts include New York’s failed bid for the 2012 Olympics. Chicago was eliminated in the first round of the International Olympic Committee’s selections for the 2016, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil instead.

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