Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

No Holds Barred: Britni de la Cretaz on Opposing Boston Hosting the 2024 Olympics 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Britni de la Cretaz. She is involved with the movement to oppose Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics, and is a member of NoBoston2024.

NoBoston2024 describes itself as "a place for concerned citizens who are opposed to hosting the Olympics in Boston to express their views, share what they’ve learned, and find like-minded people. It is not an organization. No one can speak for NoBoston2024. Each person speaks for themselves."

We spoke with Britni de la Cretaz by phone Wednesday.

The movement against Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics has been growing. This was evidenced by a March poll by radio station WBUR which showed that 52 percent of the people polled in the Boston area were opposed to it, while only 36 percent supported it. A similar poll taken just two months earlier in January had a 51-33 majority supporting the Boston Olympics. These numbers are even more stunning considering the fact that Boston is one of the sports capitals of the U.S., and is home to a large number of serious sports fans.

"I love that you're making the distinction between sports fans and the Olympics, because that's actually been a really important part of what's going on in Boston," said Britni de la Cretaz.

Many members of the official Olympic bid group, Boston 2024, "have tried to make those of who are opposed to the bid seem like we hate sports," she said. In fact, the opposition to the 2024 Boston Olympics agrees with the bid organizers about the positive role sports can have, especially with young people.

"We wholeheartedly agree with that. I'm a huge sports fan myself, and I love watching the Olympics on TV. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I want my city to host the Olympics," she said.

She noted "the general reasons to oppose the Olympics that almost every city that has opposed them so far has, and they range from economic reasons to security reasons and safety reasons and all of these other things that we can talk more about."

Boston, she added, has its own reasons as well.

"In Boston, in particular, there has also been this really anti-democratic way that the bid has been presented to us, that it's almost been done behind the backs of the people that live here. And so a lot of the objections to the bid are coming from people who are feeling really betrayed and left out of the process of what's happening to our city in general," she said.

We discussed how the local politicians and the bid organizers have tried to conceal that public money will be used to fund a Boston Olympics; how the city is in crisis following a very bad winter which saw the public transportation system shut down and many closings of schools, homeless shelters, and other vital services; how the doubletalk from these politicians and bid organizers has only fueled opposition to the bid; the negative experiences of many cities which have already hosted the Olympics; how the U.S. Olympic Committee, which chose Boston as the U.S. bid city, has shown bad leadership; why the bid has little chance of succeeding; what people are doing and can do to oppose this bid; and much more.

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