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

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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