Boston 2024 Olympic rendering

Early details of Boston’s 2024 Olympic concept


The Boston 2024 Olympic bid concept — but not final plan — includes 28 of 33 sports venues in a 10km (6.25-mile) radius, but organizers are also looking at other parts of the state.

“This truly is going to be a regional Games,” Boston mayor Marty Walsh said Friday morning, a little more than 12 hours after the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as its 2024 bid, over finalists Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Boston Herald published a map of preliminary proposals for 2024 Olympic venues here, some of which were repeated by Boston officials Friday — such as the marathon finish and beach volleyball venue being across the street from each other at Boston Common and a temporary Olympic Stadium. Also mentioned was making Franklin Park a “world-class golf venue” and possibly hosting soccer — and perhaps more sports — at the New England Patriots’ and New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium.

Walsh also named other parts of the state that could host events — Cambridge and Somerville, which are within a few miles of Boston, and Lowell, which is about 30 miles away.

A final bid plan will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee by September.

As for Boston’s chances in a 2017 IOC vote (should it make it that far) to award the 2024 Games against international cities including Rome, Berlin or Hamburg and possibly Paris and a South African bid?

USOC chairman Larry Probst expressed optimism compared to the last U.S. bid, Chicago’s failed effort for the 2016 Olympics in 2009, when the USOC’s relationship with the IOC was “not terrific.”

“There were some issues, some challenges between the USOC and the IOC [in the past],” Probst said at the press conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. “I think we worked diligently to resolve those issues. I think the relationship between the IOC and the USOC is far more positive now than it was six or seven years ago.”

Probst and USOC CEO Scott Blackmun also said what put Boston ahead of the other three U.S. finalist cities Thursday after what Probst called “the most agonizing decision that we have ever made as a board.”

The prevailing factors were an athlete-centric, cost-effective and cost-efficient concept that harmonized well with Boston’s long-term vision, included the city’s universities and fit with Agenda 2020, the IOC’s measures approved in December that include reducing costs in the bid process.

Walsh spent Thursday in his office, waiting for the USOC’s decision and looking at the caller ID every time his office phone rang. He finally saw a Colorado number.

“I picked it up, and I knew instantly,” said Walsh, adding he later received more than 100 text messages from people expressing excitement. “I knew that what we had achieved, what we thought was impossible, was reality.”

Boston’s ties to the Olympics

Here are early Boston 2024 renderings courtesy of the organizing committee:





Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal rekindle record bids at French Open

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Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal will play on the same day at the French Open through the quarterfinals, assuming each advances that far and the weather doesn’t wreak havoc. Each time they walk on the crushed red clay, the legends move closer to tying all-time records.

Williams, in her 10th bid since returning from childbirth to tie Margaret Court‘s 24 Grand Slam singles titles, battled and then rolled past 102nd-ranked countrywoman Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2), 6-0.

“I just need to play with more confidence, like I’m Serena,” she said of the difference between a 74-minute first set and a 27-minute second set. “I love the clay, and I started playing like it, opening the court and moving and sliding.”

Nadal, in his second major since moving within one of Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Slam titles, swept 83rd-ranked Belarusian Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

“Six months without playing a single tennis match is not easy,” said Nadal, who skipped the U.S. Open and then lost his third match at his comeback tournament in Rome. “I had to stop playing tennis for more than two months, so situation is difficult.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Their pursuits are very different.

Williams is already the greatest player in history by many measures, especially considering most of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and some at the Australian Open without the world’s best players.

Williams has lost all four of her major finals since her life-threatening childbirth. But she is not the favorite in Paris, despite the absence of 2019 champion Ash Barty of Australia and recent U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka. Williams hasn’t made the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in four years and just went 16 months between competitive matches on clay.

She’s also battling an Achilles injury that affected her during a U.S. Open semifinal run three weeks ago. She’s spent most of her preparation time in France rehabbing.

“A ton of prayer,” she said, noting coming early to a post-match press conference to maximize her subsequent time handling the Achilles. “I’m doing so much for it.”

None of Williams’ potential first three opponents have ever beaten her. Next up: Bulgarian and fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova, a rematch of their three-set U.S. Open quarterfinal three weeks ago.

Like Williams, Nadal next plays on Wednesday. He gets Mackenzie McDonald, one of six American men to so far reach round two, the most since 1998.

For more than a decade, followers have debated the greatest male player in history between Nadal and Federer (and now Novak Djokovic). But not until winning the 2019 U.S. Open did Nadal move within one Slam of Federer’s total.

Now, Nadal can tie Federer and pass the Swiss if he wins the next two French Opens (and Federer doesn’t win the next Australian Open).

Nadal is going for his 13th crown in Paris, as usual downplaying his favorite status. This time, he’s noting the cool, slow, autumnal conditions and a new brand of tennis ball that is disadvantageous.

“Conditions here probably are the most difficult conditions for me ever in Roland Garros,” Nadal said last week. “The conditions are a little bit extreme to play an outdoor tournament.”

Federer is not playing after two knee operations. Nadal, who at 34 is five years younger than Federer, has the opportunity in the coming matches and months to tip the scales in his favor. And help deny Djokovic, who is 33 with 17 Slams.

Nadal is not one to engage in that GOAT debate. Turns out, neither is Williams.

“You can’t compare two people that are equally great,” she said of Nadal and Federer. “I don’t understand why people want to pit who’s this, who’s that? They both have spectacular careers that 99 percent of people can only dream of and they both deserve.”

Earlier Monday, newly crowned U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem rolled 2014 U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Thiem, the 2018 and 2019 French Open runner-up, next gets American Jack Sock, a former top-10 player now ranked No. 310.

Sock took out countryman Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 for his first main draw win at the French Open in four years.

MORE: Halep, Comaneci and the genesis of a Romanian friendship

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World silver medalist opts out of figure skating Grand Prix

Elizabet Tursynbaeva
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Elizabet Tursynbayeva, the 2019 World silver medalist, said she will not compete in figure skating’s upcoming Grand Prix Series, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee.

Tursynbayeva noted in stating her decision that world ranking points will not be awarded in the series, which starts with Skate America from Oct. 23-25.

Fields for the six Grand Prix events, held on consecutive weekends through November, have not been released.

Skaters will be restricted to one Grand Prix start — halved from the usual two — and to the event in their home nations or closest to their training locations.

Tursynbayeva trains in Russia, one of six nations to host Grand Prix events.

Previously, Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu announced he would not compete on the Grand Prix due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel risks.

Russian Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova, who announced an indefinite break from competition last December, is also not expected to compete. She is hosting a Russian skating-themed TV show but has not announced her future competition plans.

Tursynbayeva took silver behind Zagitova at the most recent world championships in 2019, a surprise given her 12th-place finish at the PyeongChang Olympics. Tursynbayeva withdrew before her 2019 Grand Prix events, reportedly after suffering an injury.

Last season’s top skaters were all first-year seniors — Russians Alena Kostornaya, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova. The world championships were not held due to the pandemic.

Two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu will not be old enough for the Grand Prix until the 2021-22 Olympic season.

MORE: Orser reacts to Medvedeva’s coaching switch

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