Marty Walsh

Mayor Marty Walsh says Boston in ‘very good position’ for 2024 bid

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Boston mayor Marty Walsh expressed confidence in his city’s candidacy for a potential 2024 U.S. Olympic bid on Tuesday, after meeting with the U.S. Olympic Committee and officials from other candidate cities last week in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A Boston Public Radio host asked Walsh, “How would you describe your position in this today?”

“I think Boston’s in a very good position,” Walsh said.

And Walsh’s position?

“I’m supportive of it,” he said. “I’m supportive of advancing and moving forward. We still have a lot of work to do. We still have to talk to the public. We have to get feedback in. It’s very early in this negotiation.”

Boston is one of four U.S. cities in the running for a 2024 Olympic bid, should the USOC decide to make a bid. The others are Los Angeles, the only city in the quartet to have previously hosted an Olympics, and San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The USOC has said it likely won’t decide if it will bid for the 2024 Olympics until after an International Olympic Committee session in December.

The U.S. hasn’t hosted a Summer Olympics since Atlanta 1996 (its last Winter Games were Salt Lake City 2002). Paris, Rome and a South African city, among others, have been discussed as international bids.

Walsh said the next steps for Boston would be an internal briefing, then having conversations in the community.

“I’m not going to mortgage the future of the city of Boston for an Olympic bid, there’s no question about it,” Walsh said. “It’s a very interesting idea, a very interesting proposal. I learned a lot down in Colorado Springs about what’s expected of the city, really talking about going for the international bid [the IOC votes on the host city in 2017]. That really was what the main discussion was down there. We still have a long way to go to see if we are in the running. I think we are in the running, actually.”

Walsh expanded on the conversations with the USOC in Colorado Springs in an interview with the Boston Business Journal.

“We asked questions around marketing, the Olympic brand and about how other past bids have gone, what went wrong and why the U.S. didn’t get chosen in the past,” Walsh said. “There are still lots of unanswered questions, and it’s still three years away, but I’m excited.”

USOC chairman ‘more optimistic than ever’ about 2024 U.S. bid

Watch NBC Olympics Thanksgiving promo video

NBC Olympics Promo
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Actress Eva Longoria narrates the newest NBC promo video for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The 60-second spot features several athletes with their families in their home countries, including:

Simone Biles (USA, gymnastics)

David Boudia (USA, diving)

Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia, track and field)

Murilo Endres (Brazil, volleyball) and his wife Jaqueline Carvalho (Brazil, volleyball)

Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands, cycling)

Kerri Walsh Jennings (USA, beach volleyball)

The promo will air on television on Thanksgiving day towards the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“The spot reflects the crucial role that family plays in the journey of so many Olympic athletes,” said John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Sports Group. “With the Games being one of the few family-viewing experiences left on television, we felt this message was appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”

VIDEO: 2016 Rio Olympic Games: One year out promo

Wagner, Asada, Hanyu headline NHK Trophy in Japan; Grand Prix Final berths on the line

Ashley Wagner
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Three-time U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner looks to qualify for her fourth consecutive Grand Prix Final at this weekend’s NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan. A medal of any color should be good enough to get her to Barcelona, but she faces a tough field.

Japan’s Mao Asada returned to competition this season and is poised to qualify for the most elite competition since the Sochi Olympics (where she finished sixth) and 2014 World Championships (which she won). Finishing on the podium would earn a berth to the final for Asada. Also in the field are Americans Mirai Nagasu and Courtney Hicks, Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, and one of Russia’s darlings from last season, Anna Pogorilaya.

Olympic champion and last year’s Grand Prix Final winner Yuzuru Hanyu, surely to be the overwhelming crowd favorite in the men’s field, will look to improve his short program results from his other Grand Prix appearance. At Skate Canada, two of his three jumping passes recceived zero points. He rallied in the free skate, finishing second behind Canada’s Patrick Chan. Chan is essentially a lock for the final, while a top three finish would seal the deal for Hanyu.

MORE: Javier Fernandez qualifies for second straight home Grand Prix Final

Other men in the hunt for Grand Prix Final berths competing in Nagano include China’s Jin Boyang and Russia’s Maxim Kovtun, who also need podium finishes to lock up spots in Barcelona. Jin’s and Kovtun’s finishes will likely dictate whether or not American Max Aaron qualifies to the final. More on that process here. No U.S. man has qualified since Jeremy Abbott did it in 2011.

MORE: Jason Brown withdraws from NHK Trophy

Reigining U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim can make the Grand Prix Final with a medal in Japan.

The U.S. is sending three ice dance couples to Japan, of which two have a shot at qualifying for Barcelona. Siblings and Sochi Olympians Maia and Alex Shibutani can finish in any 1-2 combination with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue allowing for both duos to qualify for the final. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, U.S. ice dance champions, already qualified. will stream for subscribers live coverage of men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance short programs and free skates. NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Men’s short program — Friday, 2:10 a.m. ET (start order here)
Women’s short program — Friday, 5:05 a.m. ET (start order here)
Men’s free skate — Saturday, 2:30 a.m. ET
Women’s free skate — Saturday, 5:35 a.m. ET