Last week came the word that Boston was being dropped as possible hosts of the Winter Olympics after our Mayor, Marty Walsh, refused to sign a host city contract pledging to guarantee cost overruns with tax revenues from the city of Boston. I blogged about my mixed feelings around that.
Now comes word that Beijing, which just hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, will now host the Winter Olympics in 2022.
Beijing is the kind of city that can pull this off, with lots and lots of assistance from the Chinese government. Of course:
- Beijing has very little natural snow in the wintertime, and will have to make lots of it.
- They will have to build a high speed rail to get people to the alpine events, which will actually be hosted in the city of Zhangjiakou, about 125 miles from Beijing.
- In order to deal with their air pollution, they will have to shut down much of their industry before and throughout the games, as they did in 2008.
But I guess it’s worth it for the Chinese.
Rio de Janeior, which is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, was just discovered to have lots of raw sewage in the area where the sailing and rowing events will take place, leading athletes who are training down their to fall ill to infections.
Maybe it is a good thing that Boston isn’t going to get the Olympics.