Yes, D.C. should want to host the Olympics

August 27, 2013

News broke this morning that D.C. may bid for the 2024 Olympics. And predictably, as happens everywhere the Olympics are mentioned, haters immediately started lining up saying how horrible it would be for D.C. to actually host a games.

Everything they say is true. Hosting the Olympics in the District would be expensive, and a huge hassle, and probably wouldn’t result in much lasting benefit to the city, specifically.

But all the hate still breaks my heart. It’s the civic equivalent of when a school board cuts art and music programs and redirects their funding to standardized mathematics testing. On paper it’s the right decision, but it’s wrong if you want your students to grow up with anything to dream about using math to create.

Art, music and Olympics are all luxuries, it’s true. But they’re luxuries that are good for the soul. They’re luxuries that make our civilization more than the sum of its parts. They’re things worth doing if we value love.

I love the Olympics, and notably, so do many of the haters, who are happy to watch them on TV when they’re hosted in someone else’s backyard. Don’t we have a term for that?

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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