Boston mayor: Olympic bid won’t go forward if forced to sign contract today

Boston 2024

The Boston 2024 Olympic bid will not move forward if it depends on Boston mayor Marty Walsh signing a document today that could put taxpayers at risk if there are cost overruns, Walsh said in a news conference Monday.

“If committing to signing a guarantee today is what’s required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Walsh said. “The idea of hosting the Olympics, I still feel the same today as I did three months ago. I think it’s an incredible opportunity for the city of Boston.”

Asked if that means the end of the Boston 2024 Olympic bid, Walsh said, “You’ll have to ask the USOC,” later adding, “We’re going to see how the USOC responds today.”

Walsh said he told USOC CEO Scott Blackmun those same thoughts earlier Monday and that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also spoke with the USOC on Monday.

A USOC board members conference call to discuss Boston 2024 was scheduled for Monday.

“They want us to sign the contract as soon as possible,” Walsh said.

Walsh said his office has been working with Olympic planners to come up with language for a document that he would sign.

“We don’t have to put a document in until September of this year,” Walsh said. “The actual requirement isn’t required until the IOC chooses a host city in 2017, but we keep hearing, and we’ve read through different paper reports that they want the guarantee signed. And in good faith, I can’t sign the guarantee [today].”

Will Toronto join 2024 Olympic bidders?

On Saturday, it was reported that the Monday USOC board call could end with Boston’s bid being pulled and replaced by Los Angeles, according to insidethegames.

A USOC spokesperson confirmed Saturday in an email that there was a scheduled board call with an agenda including but not limited to a Boston update but did not confirm, deny or comment, when asked in the original email, on the possibility that the Boston bid could be pulled and replaced by Los Angeles.

The deadline to bid for the 2024 Olympics is Sept. 15. Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome have declared intentions to bid. IOC members will vote to choose the 2024 Olympic host city in 2017.

The USOC chose Boston as its 2024 bid city over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in a Jan. 8 announcement.

Baker said in a Friday press conference that USOC leaders scheduled a Monday meeting and that he would call into it, according to reports. USOC leaders had requested that Baker declare by the end of the day Friday whether he supported the bid, according to The Associated Press.

Baker refused to make that declaration Friday. A Baker spokesman said his office was not aware of a Friday USOC deadline, according to the Boston Herald.

“I get the fact that everybody would love us to just sort of say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ today, and I appreciate the fact that the timing in all of this is frustrating,” Baker said at a news conference, according to the AP.

Public support in Boston and Massachusetts has been less than 50 percent for months. USOC chairman Larry Probst said last month those poll numbers needed to clear 50 percent “relatively soon.”

Probst said then that support was in the low- to mid-40 percent range, similar to numbers from recent polls by Boston media.

“Rather than specific numbers, we obviously want to see a positive trend, and the sooner the better,” Probst said after a quarterly USOC board of directors meeting in California. “Obviously, we’d like to see it get over 50 percent relatively soon and ultimately get into the mid-60s range, certainly before the vote of the IOC in 2017 [to choose the 2024 Olympic host city].

“Obviously none of us are happy with the current numbers in Boston, but it’s a process, and it’s going to play out over the next 2 1/2 years.”

Blackmun said June 10 that there had not been conversations with any of the other three finalist cities to step in for Boston.

Boston officials announced March 24 that the bid would not move forward if a majority of voters in Boston and in Massachusetts did not support it in a referendum planned for November 2016.

“Obviously that’s a weakness of the bid right now,” Blackmun said of support numbers June 10. “We want to make sure we turn that into a strength if we can.”

Boston 2024 announced changes to the original bid plan in the spring, including a “version 2.0.″

The U.S. is in the midst of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960. It last hosted a Summer Games in 1996 (Atlanta) and a Winter Games in 2002 (Salt Lake City).

Fred Kerley wins 100m at Rabat Diamond League in early showdown

Fred Kerley

World champion Fred Kerley won the 100m in an early season showdown at a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday.

Kerley clocked 9.94 seconds, beating a field that included Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, who remains the world’s fastest man this year (9.84 from May 13) and world bronze medalist Trayvon Bromell. Omanyala was third in 10.05 on Sunday, while Bromell was fifth in 10.10.

Kerley has run three 100m races this year and broke 9.95 in all of them, a promising start as he bids to repeat as world champion in Budapest in August.

Full meet results are here.

The Diamond League season continues with a meet in Florence, Italy, on Friday, live on Peacock. The headline event is the men’s 100m including Kerley and Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy. Kerley and Jacobs were due to go head to head in Rabat, but Jacobs withdrew last Thursday due to nerve pain.

Earlier, Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway comfortably took the 1500m in 3:32.59. American Yared Nuguse surged to place second in a personal best 3:33.02 in his Diamond League debut after running the world’s second-fastest indoor mile in history in February.

Jamaican Rasheed Broadbell ran down world champion Grant Holloway in the 110m hurdles, prevailing 13.08 to 13.12 into a headwind. Holloway remains fastest in the world this year at 13.03.

Kenyan Emmanuel Korir, the Olympic and world champion, finished eighth in the 800m won by countryman Emmanuel Wanyonyi. Wanyonyi, 18, is the world’s fastest in 2023.

American Shamier Little won the 400m hurdles in 53.95, becoming second-fastest in the world this year behind countrywoman Britton Wilson. Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic and world champion and world record holder, has yet to compete this outdoor season and so far has strictly committed to flat 400m races in future meets. McLaughlin-Levrone has a bye into the world championships 400m hurdles but may run the flat 400m there instead.

In the 400m, Olympic champion Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas won in 44.70, while world bronze medalist Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain pulled up about 50 meters into the race.

Also Sunday, world bronze medalist Anna Hall improved from No. 3 to No. 2 on the U.S. all-time heptathlon list with 6,988 points to win the Hypo Meeting in Götzis, Austria. Only Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the world record holder at 7,291, has scored higher among Americans.

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

Main draw play began Sunday, live on Peacock.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Turning 22 during the tournament, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her most recent match with a right thigh injury last week and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw