The first Olympic Games were meant as a sign of world unity and genial athletic competition. The games put the civil wars in Greece on hiatus long enough to honor the Olympic gods.
Now, fast forward almost 2,800 years and the first games are still remembered and honored. Unfortunately some see that honor as being corrupted by corporations and politics, especially as President Barack Obama, Russian President Putin, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair compete to bring the Olympics to their country. But there is great pride and honor in hosting the Games and carrying the legacy set forth long ago.
There is a rich history between the U.S. and the Olympics. The 100th anniversary for the modern Olympics was celebrated in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. The records held by Jesse Owens, the Dream Team, and Michael Phelps made them famous on a world stage. The U.S. is not only one of the dominant medalists in the Summer Games, but who can forget the U.S. hockey team in 1980 when they beat the Soviets? Or the turnaround of the Salt Lake City Winter Games that Mitt Romney is responsible for?
The U.S. hosted the Summer Olympics four times in three separate cities — Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984 — more than any other country. That leaves other prominent cities such as Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, and New York as possible future 2024 host cities. With 2020 out of the picture, that gives these cities more time to prepare and compete against each to make it to the international round.
To make it before the USOC is stringent enough. Aside from the construction costs, the city is expected to raise $3 billion and have 45,000 hotel rooms available to accommodate the surge of athletes, media, and spectators. A well-developed public transportation and workforce totaling 200,000 is also expected to make the city competitive with other international venues.
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The City of Brotherly Love would make a perfect host city for the Olympics. The first step has already been made. Mayor Nutter responded to the USOC's recent invitation for presentations. The USOC selected Chicago over Philadelphia as their official bid before the IOC for 2016.
2. Dallas, Texas
The ideals behind the Olympics, peace, unity, and fostering development among underserved communities through sports are evidenced in the Dallas 2024's Legacy Foundation. The sports venues are already newly built, beginning with the new Cowboys Stadium, and public transportation is already built around the sports facilities. A portion of the 1994 FIFA World Cup was held at the legendary Cotton Bowl. The main focus is also not only the games themselves, but the lasting impact the games will have on the infrastructure and regional pride, hence the legacy foundation.
3. Chicago, Illinois
The biggest supporter for a theoretical 2024 Chicago Games would likely be Barack Obama. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama pursued the possibility for their hometown to host the 2016 Games, but ended up reaching fourth place and losing to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. At least President Obama did the best he could, even though he came back home on the losing side.
4. New York City, New York
New York City is not new to bidding for the Olympic Games. Their 2012 bid lost out to London. The city still benefited from its failed 2012 bid, possibly laying the foundation for another attempt. As a previous finalist, plans were already roughly laid out where the Olympic Village and other venues would be located or built. Who can forget the unfortunately failed effort to build the West Side Stadium?
There are advantages and disadvantages to NYC hosting the Olympics. Even with a population over 8 million, there would be no problem on finding enough accommodation space for the athletes. The money to sponsor and buy tickets is there. The mass transit system is already good and the two subway extensions will be completed by 2024. However, with all the athletic real estate development across the boroughs, public financing is limited.
Tokyo won the bid against Istanbul and Madrid. The city will be home to thousands of athletes and spectators alike for a handful of weeks and will have ample time to prepare for the extravaganza. Surprisingly, the USOC did not place a bid for 2020.
The Olympic Games have been around since Greece was the main world power. It is a sign of pride to host the Olympics, something that the U.S. has done more than any other country. Cities such as Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, and New York are just a few of American cities that have the potential to host the Olympic Games. The opportunity to bid for 2020 has passed, but 2024 is a whole new ballgame.