Bold Types

Walsh pitched Facebook on Boston during Olympic bid trip

Mayor Walsh
Winslow Townson/AP
Mayor Walsh

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is looking for some silver linings in Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

On Wednesday, even as headlines questioned how closely Walsh read through the city’s bid documents, the mayor attended a Mass Insight Global Partnership meeting and recounted his visit to California to sell the US Olympic Committee on Boston.

Walsh described himself as a fierce competitor to the gathering of bankers and investment managers, and he reveled in Boston beating out Los Angeles to be win the committee’s selection of Boston as the US host city.


“Everybody thought LA was going to win,” Walsh said. “We convinced people.”

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After the pitch meeting, Walsh said he had four hours to spare before returning home. So, he decided to head over to the Facebook headquarters in nearby Menlo Park. Founder Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t there, but Walsh said he met with three other top executives of Facebook and the photo-sharing service it owns Instagram.

Walsh said he told them if the company ever expands to the East Coast, they should consider coming back to the Boston area, where Zuckerberg first launched Facebook as a student at Harvard University.

Even if the city loses its Olympic bid, but gains a company like Facebook in the process, Walsh would consider his trip to California a success.

“I want to be grateful we went for an Olympic bid,” he said.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.