Clash of the Opinions: Boston in the running for 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Essential Information: Boston recently beat out several other U.S. cities to become the U.S. contender to host the 2024 Olympics. This sparked a debate among many Americans and others who wonder whether Boston is equipped to handle such a memorable, historic event on an international stage. On one side, many want the Olympic Summer Games to take place in the U.S. On the other, some feel Boston lacks the size and efficiency to host an event of this magnitude. The International Olympics Committee will select the host for these Summer Games in 2017.Regardless, Boston has taken down other major U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, and must now vie against the likes of cities such as Rome, Paris and Melbourne for the honor of hosting the prestigious Olympics in less than a decade. 

YAY

By Mark Wadland

Opinions Editor

The Olympics has not been held in the U.S. since Atlanta hosted it in 1996. Boston, unlike Atlanta, is a city people around the world want to visit. Its relatively small size and tight-knit community, coupled with its old buildings and, of course, America’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, make it an ideal host for the Olympics in 2024. This is the home of Paul Revere, the man who warned a bunch of colonists that “the British are coming.” It’s the origin of Mark Wahlberg, a renouned actor.

Boston first became a town in 1630, and later a city in 1822. It also contains more than 600,000 residents, according to www.cityofboston.gov.

While Paris, among other cities in the running for the 2024 Olympics, is undoubtedly a tourist magnet, Boston is home to some of the greatest hospitals and doctors in the world. If Boston hosts the Olympics in 2024 and any of the athletes are injured, their medical needs will be met by some of the most intelligent medical professionals in the world.

Medical care aside, Boston is a major hub for tourism around the world, as millions of people from all over flock to Massachusetts’ capital to experience the history Boston offers.

It may cost $10 billion to build and maintain a stadium for the Summer Olympics in Boston, according to a Feb. 8 article in The Boston Globe. Despite the huge price tag, tens of millions of people, if not hundreds of millions, from all around the world will come to Boston to watch the Olympics. With it, they will bring attention to the historic city, as well as a willingness to spend money – a lot of it.

In addition, if the Olympics are held in Boston, everyone who lives in New England should have a fairly easy time getting to the city to watch some of the world’s greatest athletes compete for Olympic glory. I would love to see the Olympics, and the only way that will happen is if it’s held in the U.S. Boston is close to home for me and most of the students, faculty and staff at FSU. It would be great to be able to watch the Olympics with some friends in a city known and revered for its history and New England charm.

 

NAY

Michael B. Murphy

Associate Editor

I hate to be the resident Gatepost curmudgeon here and disagree with Mayor Marty Walsh and my esteemed colleague Mark Wadland, but the mere thought of the city of Boston hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics is astoundingly asinine.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why many Massachusetts citizens are on board for the Boston Olympics 2014. The modern Olympic Games have, for over a century, united often divided nations from around the globe, if for only the briefest of moments, to celebrate the very best in human athleticism and perseverance. Hell, I personally consider the quadrennial Summer Olympic Games to be one of the most exciting televised events ever. However, the keyword there is “televised.”

I enjoy my Summer Olympic Games from the comfort of my own living room. As an American, I find it quite thrilling to watch tremendous American athletes, such as Michael Phelps, rack up the gold medals and I even get to scratch the national pride itch for a couple of weeks. However, I also enjoy being able to walk the streets of the city without having to claw my way through a crowd of a few million global visitors.

I live in Boston and the idea that the city – populated by cantankerous Bostonians – would be packed to the gills in the summer of 2024 with national and international tourists, everyone using the same out-of-date and dysfunctional public transportation system (Yeah, I’m talking about you, MBTA), stir emotions in me that oscillate between sheer terror and blinding rage.

Really, how the hell are Bostonians and all these tourists going to get around? The MBTA? The same public transportation service which has all but thrown up their hands in defeat, saying, “Sorry, not sorry” to the people of Boston who have been left stranded after several snow storms? Granted, it won’t be snowing in the summer of 2024 – though in light of recent New England weather patterns, at this rate, it sure seems like a very real possibility – but it is worth noting that the MBTA has failed miserably when pushed to its limits.

How on Earth does Mayor Walsh and the other Boston 2024 advocates think the MBTA can handle a few extra million communicators? I’d ask former MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott her thoughts on the matter, but she’s in the process of running for the proverbial hills, cursing the snow gods and the name Charlie Baker.

Oh, and here’s another thing – can they actually be called the Boston Olympics if several of the games won’t even occur within the city of Boston? Seriously, there is talk of some of the summer games being held in Gillette Stadium. You know, the stadium that’s held in everyone’s favorite area of Boston – Foxboro, MA. There has even been serious discussion about holding white water rafting events in, get this, Deerfield. What is a Deerfield? I refuse to believe Deerfield is a place. Deerfield is as real of a place as the Lost City of Atlantis or Thomas More’s Utopia.

Again, I apologize for coming across as such a negative Nancy, but 2024 is not the time and Boston is certainly not the place for the Olympics.

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