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  • 2024 Olympic Bid Race Heating Up -- Media Watch


    (ATR) The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) is preparing to ratify its decision on a Hamburg bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

    On March 16, the DOSB chose the city of Hamburg over Berlin to bid for the Games.

    Stefan Nestler, an editor for German broadcaster Deutshe Welle, explained why he thinks the country should back a Hamburg bid in an op-ed on Monday. 

    "According to the polling institute Forsa, 64 percent of all Hamburg residents wanted the Olympics," Nestler says.

    "In Berlin, it was 'only' 55 percent."

    Nestler adds, "The importance of citizen support in an Olympic campaign bid was clear to see in Munich's two failed attempts to bid for the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics. In Japan's capital Tokyo, the 2020 Olympic games had a support rate of 77 percent. In Rio de Janeiro, 85 percent of the population was in favor.

    "It's clear: the IOC looks closely at what the citizens of a bidding city really want."

    Hamburg joins Boston and Rome as the only confirmed bidders for the 2024 Olympics. Baku, Doha, Istanbul and Paris could be other contenders.

    Karen Twomey, a reporter for Boston's CBS affiliate radio station WBZ, says the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was a top concern discussed at a forum held on the 2024 Games this week. 

    James Aliosi, the former secretary of transportation in Massachusetts, attended the forum at Suffolk University in downtown Boston.

    Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (Getty Images)
    "Terrible public transportation access," Aliosi said. 

    "If we don’t have the will and the political courage and the capacity to deal with these issues, then we have no business being here talking about hosting an Olympics."

    Mark Arsenault, a reporter for the Boston Globe, says the city of Boston could win the 2024 Games with its story.

    "Never underestimate the power of a good story line. To win the 2004 Olympics, Athens sold the IOC on the idea that the modern Games should return to their ancestral home. 

    "Atlanta’s bid for the 1996 Games tied the city's civil rights history to the values of the Olympic movement.

    "For Boston's nascent Olympic effort, coming up with the most persuasive elevator pitch for the city's bid will be as important as providing a credible plan for sports venues and an Olympic village."

    USA Today reports that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and legislative leaders, such as House Speaker Robert DeLeo, will most likely hire outside experts to weigh in on Boston's bid for the Games.

    "Obviously I feel like, right now, we are just operating in the dark," DeLeo said.

    "No one wants to see the taxpayers stuck with any type of bill on this, and I think the consultant will help us wade through that process and make sure that doesn't happen." 

    Road to Rio 2016

    Australia's Grant Hackett at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Getty Images)
    The Sydney Morning Herald's Ed Jackson features Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett, who has his sight set on competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    The three-time Olympic gold medalist competed in a qualifying meet at the Brisbane Aquatic Center over the weekend, marking his first "competitive outing" since the 2008 Olympics.

    "I'm actually a bit taken aback my body can still do it as well as it can in the time-frame," Hackett told Australia's News Corp.

    India ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is also focused on making it to the Rio Games.

    "May be it will be my first Olympics but still I have one year left so have to be consistent," the 22-year-old told the British daily First Post.

    "If you can plan from now, then there won't be anything like that."

    In Other News

    Joel Schipper, a reporter for My News 13 in Orlando, Florida, features Olympic fencer Dan Alon. The 69-year-old is one of five who survived an attack during the 1972 Munich Olympics on eleven Israeli athletes. 

    "Still, I am suffering from paranoia," Alon told reporters during a speech in Florida this week.

    "I want to tell it because it's a piece of history. 

    "The new ones are learning it in school in history and I don’t want them to forget about it."

    Compiled by Nicole Bennett

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