Ted Leonsis on why Washington should want the Olympics


(Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

Ted Leonsis, as you likely know, is vice chairman of DC2024, the effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to the Washington region. And as that effort has picked up steam in recent days — Washington is one of four finalists to get the U.S. Olympic Committee’s backing, along with Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco — Leonsis has twice blogged about the benefits of getting the Summer Games.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Virginia, Maryland and D.C. to showcase our thriving community to the world, and we have the infrastructure, passion and commitment to become a tremendous host city,” he wrote last week. “This is a big endeavor for the DMV, and there is a lot of work ahead as the USOC continues to research and make a decision on whether or not to bid and which city will be selected if a bid is pursued. But I know we can rally as a community and show the USOC and the world that the 2024 Olympic Games belong in our nation’s capital!”

In a longer post on Monday, he went into greater detail about the benefits of such an event.

I have just returned from London with my family.

This is a booming, multicultural, diverse and thriving city. A city that is recognized as one of the greatest communities on the planet. London swings! The energy and positive vibe were palpable. Its economy is quite robust as well.

I toured many of the Olympic Games sites and have seen first hand the transformational powers to a community an Olympic Games can have – for young people, the disadvantaged and for all.

As I was buying coffee on Saturday, the woman standing next to me was wearing a t-shirt from the Summer Games. I talked to her and she was all smiles about her memories and her volunteer work at the games as a student. She said: “it was the greatest experience of my life, life-long memories for me and my family; we really did it right”.

A cab driver spoke on and on about how London positively changed after the Olympics; he didn’t like Uber but he loved NBC and the Olympic Committee!  And Americans. As he said: “lovely people and games, lovely.”

London is a great role model city for us as we get to the next round of the USOC bid to land a Summer Olympics back in the USA. Read this article from the Washington Post; we should be proud as a community that we moved on to the next round of world class cities being considered, and we should envision a Games like London!

Meanwhile, my friend John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal went on WJLA to discuss Washington’s bid.

“I would suggest that D.C. is really a longshot to get it, for a variety of reasons,” he said.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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