By now, you’ve heard the story: Boston 2024 is no more.
The United States Olympic Committee pulled Boston from the running for the 2024 Games in the wake of Boston mayor Marty Walsh’s concerns about financial pressuring from both the USOC and — should Boston have moved forward in the bidding process — the International Olympic Committee.
But the end of Boston’s Olympic dreams isn’t a crash-and-burn scenario for the city but rather a showing of incompetence by the USOC, according to USA TODAY Sports columnist Christine Brennan.
“After grandly proclaiming just six and a half months ago that Boston was the city to bring the Summer Olympics back to the United States for the first time since 1996, after throwing every ounce of energy and political capital into a Boston bid, the U.S. Olympic Committee is declaring defeat, pulling the plug and leaving,” Brennan wrote. “This is an organizational disaster. It’s a debacle. It is an embarrassment of the highest order. Take your pick. Or choose all of the above.”
Everything from Boston politics, to a lack of citizen support, to the crippling winter that Boston just endured is being blamed. No one is taking any responsibility — “Everyone is blaming everyone and everything for this fiasco,” Brennan wrote — and it’s a microcosm of the problem.
There is no accountability by the USOC. It’s why the Olympics haven’t come stateside since 1996 in Atlanta, why the U.S. was quickly rejected for 2012 and 2016 bids, and why the USOC gave up and didn’t even try to bring the Games back in 2020.
“After years of board-room estrangement from the Euro-centric International Olympic Committee, USOC leaders spent quite a bit of time working their way back into its good graces,” Brennan wrote. “The USOC’s re-entry into society, its debutante moment if you will, was the announcement of its bid city for the 2024 Summer Games.”
This sounds more like an evil villain in a cheesy movie going underground and planning his big moment for years, only to be foiled quickly by a simple, overlooked flaw the hero easily noticed.
In the USOC’s grandest utopian schemes, Boston was supposed to be America’s Olympic hero. Instead, in an event that is known for bringing pride and glory to a nation, the USOC did the one thing it couldn’t afford: Embarrass themselves.
It’s a loss for Boston, for America, for the USOC. But it’s a victory for the Olympics, which deserve better than what the USOC’s incompetence has to offer.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@7News
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