According to various reports, there are 4 cities that want the US Olympic Committee’s backing in an attempt to host the summer Olympics in 2024. Other reports say there are 6 cities “in the mix”. One of the cities on both lists is Washington DC – a city with which I have more than a passing familiarity. There are two major reasons why DC would be a horrendous choice:
1. The current infrastructure is so insufficient to handle the logistics of an Olympics that I cannot come up with a figure of speech sufficiently bad to convey the message to you properly.
2. If anyone thinks the Brazilians are a bit nonchalant about getting down to work to get things done for the 2016 Games, let me assure you that the folks who run DC and the surrounding jurisdictions taught the Brazilians everything the Brazilians know about procrastination. Let me give you a short example of now “things get done” in the DC area:
In the mid-90s, studies and plans for an extension of the Metro to Dulles Airport began to happen.
Construction began in 2008.
Last week, the first HALF of the extension opened; it is just over 11 miles long. It took almost 6 years to build an 11-mile train line all above ground.
The second half is scheduled to be finished in 2018; if it opens then, it will be the first time Metro has met a scheduled milestone.
Here is how things tend to “work” in the DC area. Imagine that the plan calls for you to run a four-minute mile. Now the execution phase of that plan would go along and no one would foresee that having you run the final quarter mile in 9 seconds makes the execution phase impossible. Sad but true… Also, please ignore the fact that the District of Columbia has far more urgent things on which to spend its money – not the least of which would be its public school system. DC would be a terrible choice…
The other cities supposedly interested are:
Boston: They have a lot of venues already in place. I am not sure where they would find convenient real estate for an Olympic Village but I am sure the planners will come up with something there. Traffic congestion would be a significant issue for me.
Dallas: Again, they have facilities already in place – including Cowboys’ Stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies. Moreover, there surely are “moneyed interests” in the area to make this happen. Summer weather in Dallas can be “very interesting”…
Los Angeles: They have just about everything they might need on hand since they hosted the games in 1984. Traffic congestion would be a significant challenge.
San Diego: According to a report I read, San Diego would “partner” with Tijuana, Mexico if it puts forth a bid. Has anyone seen recent photos of the traffic jam at the border crossing there?
San Francisco: Given the stadiums for baseball, football (collegiate and pro) and the arenas for basketball and hockey that are in the area, this could be a viable venue.
The USOC hopes to make its selection for the US bid by the end of 2014 and the presentation to the IOC will happen in September 2015. International “competition” for the games will come from Doha, Qatar; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Istanbul, Turkey.
Meanwhile, the NY Times reported that an IOC official who had his eye on the Brazilian preparations for the 2016 Games called them “the worst I have ever experienced.” If anyone recalls the nonsense associated with the Athens’ preparations, the Brazilians have hurdled over a very high bar indeed. One issue with the host city of Rio de Janeiro is that many of their waterways are polluted water; the reason for that is pretty basic; according to the government in Rio, only 35% of the wastewater/sewage in the city is treated meaning 65% of the sewage generated by 6.35 million people in the city proper and by about 12 million people in the “greater Rio area”. Why is this a problem?
In the summer games, there are sports such as canoeing, rowing, sailing and the triathlon, which put athletes in or right next to “natural bodies of water”. Now that you have that list, go back and read those stats about sewage treatment in Rio…
I ran across this stat somewhere but I have lost the citation to where I found it. I will present it here and tip my hat to whomever it was that put it out there for me to find. It has to do with the value of a defensive catcher in baseball. Consider:
Yadier Molina came to the Cardinals full-time in 2005. Since that year, here are the teams in baseball that have allowed the fewest stolen bases.
Reds 720 (50% more than the Cards)
Twins 775 (61% more than the Cards)
D-Backs 780 (62% more than the Cards)
Finally, I do know where this stat came from. It came from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Flashback: Clayton Kershaw is today’s most dominating pitcher, but Sandy Koufax set the standard for Dodger left-handers. From 1961 through ’66, Koufax was 129-47, and while pitching every four days, completed 54 of 84 starts in 1965 and ’66.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………