Tulsa 2024

Tulsa sports official, mayor say city isn’t seeking Olympic bid

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Tulsa received plenty of attention after a New York Times story published Sunday detailed one businessman’s plan to seek a 2024 Olympic bid for the city of 400,000 people.

Two of those people — two very important people — called a news conference Tuesday to clarify the city’s stance. Tulsa Sports Commission Senior Vice President Ray Hoyt stood with city mayor Dewey Bartlett over his shoulder and delivered a clear message, according to the Tulsa Word.

“We are not actively seeking an Olympic bid,” Hoyt said. “Or supporting it.”

The Times article titled, “London. Tokyo. Athens. Tulsa? A Heartland Olympic Dream,” tells the story of electrical engineer Neil Mavis, who has been working on a Tulsa 2024 bid for five years.

“We have all the resources,” Mavis said in the article. “We just need the spark.”

Hoyt disagreed and said the Olympics may prevent the city from attracting less grand goals like Big XII championships or the NCAA tournament.

“We have to protect our credibility,” Hoyt said, according to the Tulsa World. “We don’t want to approach people about events that they know we can’t accommodate.”

Bartlett agreed.

Tulsa simply doesn’t have the population, budget or infrastructure to host the Olympics – or even to make a serious bid, he said.

“We don’t want to apologize for or throw water on Mr. Mavis’ desire to represent his city,” Bartlett said. “But we certainly don’t want it to get out of hand.”

An official bid would have to come from the host city’s mayor, according to the rules of the International Olympic Committee. So, without Bartlett’s support, the effort would seem to be at a standstill.

Tulsa 2024 bid leader: ‘We’re going to stay in the race’

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: