Business

Shirley Leung

Dear USOC: We really do want to host the Games

When Boston calms down, we get down to business, but always on our terms, never yours.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

When Boston calms down, we get down to business, but always on our terms, never yours.

Dear United States Olympic Committee:

You may think Bostonians don’t want to host the Olympics, but then you don’t know Boston.

Advertisement

We love to hate.

We love to complain.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

We love to hate that we complain.

We are difficult people. Just ask the British.

Out where you are in Colorado, everyone is so damn happy. You and your 300 days of sunshine. And now all that legalized marijuana makes everything oh so groovy.

Advertisement

Rocky Mountain High we are not. We get a kick out of knocking people down, putting everyone in their place when they get too big, too successful, too soon. If the Games were ever held here, revenge would be an Olympic sport.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourselves: What on God’s green earth is this place they call Boston? It looks like something out of a gladiator movie. How fast can we move our five-ring circus to LA?

Seriously, your first instincts were right — an old city reborn, the world capital of life sciences, a walkable and affordable Games.

But before that, we will throw tantrums like 2-year-olds. Maybe it looks like a freak show to you. To us, it’s all normal.

Don’t be scared. We just need this moment. This is how we operate around here. When we calm down, we get down to business, but always on our terms, never yours.

If we act up again — oh, and we will — remember what sets Boston apart. Ultimately, we are a city of champions. The 21st century has only just begun, but Boston teams have already brought home four Super Bowls, three World Series, an NBA banner, and a Stanley Cup.

En garde, Paris.

It takes time for Bostonians to come around on anything. The Big Dig spanned four decades from proposal to completion. Rebuilding the Boston Garden took nearly three decades. All the while we moaned and groaned.

Today we can’t imagine our city without a depressed Central Artery that gave way to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Zakim bridge, and the bustling Seaport District. The Garden put us in the big leagues to host all-star games, NCAA tournaments, mega concert acts like the Rolling Stones, and the Democratic National Convention.

Our Olympic naysaying can be heard ’round the world, but it can only make the Boston bid better. We like to put people and their ideas through the wringer. And we save the sharpest knives for outsiders swooping in and trying to tell us what to do with our city.

Welcome to Boston.

Our poll numbers on hosting the Olympics are frighteningly low — they dropped to 36 percent in March. Blame it on PTSD after suffering through more than 100 inches of snow this winter. We couldn’t even get ourselves to work, let alone think about hosting the world. Of course, it was really wonderful. It gave us a whole new vein of complaints.

Now much of the squawking about the Summer Games comes from the lack of a solid plan from Boston 2024, the privately held group organizing the region’s bid. Stingy Bostonians also worry that taxpayers will be on the hook if costs go over budget.

The newly installed chairman of Boston 2024, Bain Capital executive and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, wants to get it right this go-around. He promises to deliver by the end of June a plan that is fiscally responsible and leaves long-term benefits for the city.

Stick with us, USOC. I know we’re trying your patience. But it’ll all come together. It always does.

Or it won’t. And we’ll complain about that, too.

Shirley Leung is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at shirley.leung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @leung.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.