Opinion: Boston Doesn’t Need the Olympics (But That’s Beside the Point)

The announcement of Boston as the United States bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was not echoed with voices of triumph, but rather angry rants on Twitter and the formation of naysayer group, No Boston Olympics.

As soon as the selection was made on Thursday, there was instant backlash, as Boston residents conjured up every justification for not hosting the 2024 Olympics, a disappointment to say the least. It is simply not in accordance with Boston’s pride and spirit to immediately dismiss a potentially beneficial, and nonetheless memorable, experience.

Many are making out Boston’s Olympic bid to be nothing short of disastrous, when in reality, Boston could provide for a cheaper, more compact venue than previous Olympic hosts. There’s a reason Boston was chosen over other leading United States cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Boston is notorious for handling major sporting events with conviction. Why not add the Olympics to its repertoire? As a host, Boston would give many states residents a unique chance to view the Olympics without having to spend a mass amount of money to travel out of the country.

Bianca Dempsey / Gavel Media

Bianca Dempsey / Gavel Media

In addition, “Boston’s bid also is in tune with the committee’s new emphasis on using existing, temporary, and movable venues” reports the Boston Globe. With the multitude of colleges, universities, and sports complexes that populate Boston, this point is hard to argue against.

Admittedly, those who claim that Boston doesn’t need the Olympics are correct. But did any prior host really need the Olympics either? Being a host is about wanting to showcase strength and be recognized as an asset at the international level. We may not need the Olympics, but why not strive to achieve this mighty goal?

The majority of Boston residents just need to calm down. It’s not as if Boston was just chosen as the official Olympic host, it was chosen as a possibility. And we should say yes to this possibility.

Even the White House is backing the bid, issuing a statement that reads, “The city has taught all of us what it means to be Boston Strong. The President and First Lady couldn't be prouder of this accomplishment and of all of our nation's athletes, and strongly support the effort to bring the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the United States.”

If the United States Olympic committee, and the White House, have faith that Boston can hold its own against rival world-class cities, Boston’s own residents should have faith in itself to do so as well.

What has this great city known to do in times of potential failure? Rally. Boston rallied behind winning the World Series, gay marriage, and hosting a Democratic National Convention. Let’s rally for the Olympics, too.

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Emma Powers