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As the United States Olympic Committee is considering Boston along with three other cities for a potential bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Boston 2024 spokesperson Dave Wedge emphasized the role that Harvard and other local universities will have in the planning process if Boston is selected as the host. However, he could not confirm specific plans regarding the use of Harvard facilities in the Olympic Games.
“Boston 2024 is excited about working with all of our university partners, including Harvard, and is eager to continue the conversation should Boston move forward in the Olympic selection process,” Wedge said. “Harvard has some incredible, iconic venues and buildings, but no final decisions have been made with respect to any of the venues for the proposed 2024 Games in Boston.”
Harvard Athletics declined to comment for this story.
The Boston proposal is gaining national media attention for its focus on compactness and affordability based on its efforts to make use of existing infrastructure—including local universities like Harvard—as Olympic venues. The other cities on the USOC short list are Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
The Boston 2024 Executive Board Committee currently includes two Harvard affiliates. Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp serves on the College and University Engagement Committee, and Kennedy School lecturer Juliette N. Kayyem ’91 sits on the Innovation and Technology Committee.
Kayyem said that Boston’s plans to include local universities is part of what sets the city apart from its competitors.
“It is a bid that fully integrates all the different pieces that make Boston such an amazing city,” Kayyem said. “Our innovation, our technology, our colleges and universities, our medical health facilities, that is what makes this bid so positive for this city.”
“The subject matter expertise that’s held at Harvard is something that will be utilized throughout the process,” Kayyem added.
Although Boston has never hosted the Olympic Games, the Harvard Stadium has seen its share of Olympic activities over the past century.
For three consecutive Summer Olympics from 1920 and 1928, the Stadium hosted the U.S. Track and Field trials. Six decades later, the Stadium hosted the group stages of the 1984 Olympic soccer matches.
According to the Associated Press article, MIT may host fencing and archery during the games.
The USOC is expected to select their top choice for an American host city in January, and the International Olympic Committee will announce the winning bid in Sept. 2017 at the 130th IOC Session.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at email@example.com.
—Staff writer Forrest K. Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ForrestKLewis.
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