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D.C. Loses 2024 Olympics Bid

Bowser said the failed 2024 DC Olympics bid could help make the case for infrastructure investments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Bowser said the failed 2024 DC Olympics bid could help make the case for infrastructure investments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Washington, D.C. has lost its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, with the U.S. Olympic Committee instead announcing Thursday evening that it has selected Boston.

The announcement is a blow to D.C. residents and officials who were hoping to host the Summer Olympics, though D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tried to bring a positive perspective to the news.  

“Despite today’s outcome, I am proud of how the District and the region presented,” Bowser said in a statement. “I want to thank the talented and hardworking Washingtonians whose efforts got us to the short list of American cities.”  

“All was not lost, however,” Bowser later added. “We must build on the tremendous regional and federal cooperation embodied in the DC 2024 Olympic bid, in focusing on the big issues facing our region—transportation, affordable housing and expanding job opportunities for residents in the District of Columbia.”  

In December, then-Mayor-elect Bowser went to Redwood City, Calif., with “Washington 2024” officials to make the case for the nation’s capital to host the event nearly a decade in the future. Washington 2024 is a group focusing solely on the Olympic bid and its theme of “unity” runs throughout all of its promotions, including a video featuring some familiar Capitol Hill faces .  

D.C. also was competing against Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the District’s bid was not without some controversy.  

Some local officials were particularly concerned if the District could handle the cost of a multi-billion dollar Olympics. The total cost for the London Summer Olympics in 2012 was more than $14 billion. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in December that he was worried about the cost of the Olympic Games, but was hopeful the private sector would contribute to the cost.  

Capitol Hill Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Flahaven also was critical of a lack of community engagement prior to the December pitch to U.S. Olympic officials and questioned how the games would affect development projects in the Capitol Hill area.  

But now Boston will have to contend with those questions of cost and community engagement as the USOC prepares to make pitch a 2024 Summer Olympics to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is expected to determine the 2024 finalists in the spring of 2016, and then vote for the host city in September 2017.  

USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement Thursday the process is “deliberative and collaborative.”  



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