Boston gets serious about 2024 Olympic bid

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After being chosen as a potential host for the 2024 Olympics, Boston’s committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development is set to meet in Beacon Hill May 7 to discuss forming a commission that will examine the logistics of hosting the Games.

This is announcement is a great sign for the Boston Olympic Exploratory Committee, whose members have been angling to bring the Games to their hometown for nearly a year against criticism from city officials like Mayor Tom Menino, who last month called the idea “far-fetched.”

“What began as two strangers meeting over a shared dream has grown to a group of 40-strong, dedicated to realizing the Olympic Movement in New England,” the BOEC stated. “In the months ahead, the Boston 2024 Exploratory Committee will evaluate the viability of hosting the Games. There’s much work to be done if we are to succeed, but we’re up for the challenge and beyond excited to get started.”

If put into action, the nine-member group would be commissioned to consider the city’s infrastructure, transportation, and hospitality, as well as venue locations, budgets, and obviously plenty of other factors.

State senator Eileen Donoghue, who filed the bill to create the commission, admitted that things are still in the early, early stages, but told Boston Magazine that she looks “forward to fully exploring this idea.”

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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