A group hoping to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston gathered several U.S. Olympians for a rally to promote its bid Monday night.
“I think it would be fantastic,” two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan said. “The Olympics, to be around that atmosphere is sort of electrifying and inspirational.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said “it would be Boston leading the United States,” according to the Boston Globe.
“We’re not going to mortgage the future of the city for the Olympics,” Walsh said. “I’ve been working very closely with the 2024 committee to talk about how we pay for it. I think there’s an opportunity here in the city of Boston to put together an Olympics that’s a walkable Olympics. The infrastructure can be mostly private infrastructure.”
Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are the finalists for a potential U.S. 2024 Olympic bid. The U.S. Olympic Committee isn’t expected to decide if it will actually bid 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 German or South African city, among others, have been discussed as potential bids, too.
The IOC will vote on the 2024 host city in 2017.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was scheduled to attend Monday’s event near Fenway Park but missed it due to a reported scheduling conflict.
“I think there’s a great opportunity to develop a successful plan,” Patrick said in a statement. “The fact that the proponents of this adventure are thinking big about the Commonwealth is something I think is good for Massachusetts.”
A group opposed to the bid also issued a statement, wary of costs.
“The cost, I’m sure, will be great, but whenever you put that much into something, it makes your city even better,” Kerrigan said.
Kayla Harrison, a Massachusetts resident who became the first U.S. judoka to win Olympic gold in London, said she was skeptical of the bid at first.
“Boston’s a really a small city,” she told NECN. “The traffic’s already awful. How is this going to work? But I got to look at the plans. I got to look at the layout. I got to look at the design. I was blown away.”