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After Reportedly Having the 'Weakest' Bid in front of the USOC, Is Boston's Olympic Dream Over?

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Is it finally time to put Boston’s Olympic nightmare to bed?

Representatives from the Boston 2024 committee, along with the other three cities in the running to host the Summer Games, made their pitch to the US Olympic Committee on Tuesday in closed door (shocker) meetings in Redwood City, Calif. The USOC board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to submit a bid for the 2024 Games, and will choose one candidate among Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. by next month.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was at the meeting, and according to WBUR’s Curt Nickisch, he was pleased with the proposal put forth by the Boston 2024 committee.

"We put on a great presentation,” Walsh said. “On a scale from 1 to 10, we put on an 11.”

Uh, not so fast, at least based on this from Bay Area news man Raj Mathai.

Let’s see, what could have possibly done it? Was it the fact that Boston doesn’t possess the type of infrastructure needed to host the world’s largest gathering, using pre-existing structures or not? Could it be the fact that there is a dearth of support from a public that feels increasingly hoodwinked by the secretive approach of the Boston backers? Maybe it was the knowledge that the Cambridge City Council had come to its senses and decided to oppose Boston’s Olympic bid last week?

“We don’t understand a thing [about the bid], and we want people to know we are not just going to roll over,” Cambridge City Councillor Dennis Carlone told Boston Magazine. “I’m generally an optimist, but I see no plan, no strategy, and no real communication about this.”

Join the club.

Do even the slightest bit of research, and you’ll find nowhere near the amount of angst and public outcry elsewhere among the other three cities making bids. It even stands to reason most of L.A. isn’t even aware that their city is a viable candidate to host the Olympics for the first time in 40 years.

Of course, the USOC won’t make decisions based on opposition or lack of it thereof, but Boston’s uneasiness in a landscape that is mainly bereft of it, has to have caused some ripples out west.

“I couldn’t gauge from looking at the faces of committee members if they were leaning our way or not leaning our way,” Walsh said in a telephone interview with the Globe. “But it shows you that this puts Boston on a stage. Whether or not we get the Olympics, to be able to be in the same conversation with other cities around I think says an awful lot about the strength of the city of Boston.”

Walsh is dead-on in that regard. The very reason why Boston should be even prouder if it doesn’t land the Games a decade from now.

The Boston 2024 folks like to speak in general tones of dreams, hopes, and legacy, when the truth is, the very people they’re trying to swindle are the ones displaying those characteristics. Boston’s presence at Tuesday’s meeting came with a No Boston Olympics protest banner outside. As the L.A. Times noted, the Boston bid team did not speak with reporters afterward.

Take a wild guess which bid team was the only one not to discuss their presentation.

Boston 2024 executive vice-president Erin Murphy Rafferty did release a statement, however.

“Boston 2024 was honored to meet once again with the USOC and make our case as to why Boston would be an ideal host for the Summer Games in 2024. Four great cities were before the USOC today and we feel Boston made a very strong presentation to the committee that focuses on the many strengths of our city and region. This is the next step in what we hope will be a long and productive partnership with the USOC, as well as a thoughtful discussion about where we want to take our city in the coming decades. If Boston moves on to the next phase, we look forward to exploring the possibilities of a Boston Olympics that would be innovative, sustainable and transformative to Massachusetts.”

Nope. Sorry.

Lest anyone ever call citizens of Boston blind sheep (unless, of course, we’re talking about the bottom of the eighth inning) the opposition to the Olympics has once again displayed Boston’s resilient attitude, one that dates back to some rogue fellas tossing tea into the Boston Harbor. That is Boston's legacy. Not an aquatic center.

Los Angeles has everything the USOC needs and wants. It was a valiant, underhanded effort by Boston 2024, but fortunately the process may have ultimately crossed paths with sanity and put an end to the charade. If Mathai is right, then Boston is suddenly bringing up the rear of the 2024 machine.

And for that, Boston should be significantly proud of itself.

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