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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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

No Holds Barred: Jonathan Cohn on Opposing Boston Hosting the 2024 Olympics 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Jonathan Cohn, who is involved with the movement to oppose Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics, and is a co-founder and an organizer with NoBoston2024.

We spoke with Jonathan Cohn by phone Sunday.

While the U.S. Olympic Committee is sticking with Boston as its candidate city to host the 2024 Olympics, the latest opinion polls still show that a majority of people in and around Boston oppose this bid. Yet they are not opposing sports or even Olympic sports as such.

"At the community meetings we've had, there are many people who have noted that they do like the Olympics and they are very big sports fans, but they don't want the Olympics here just because of the long history of the corruption and the damage done to host cities," he said.

"Boston is very much a sports town and people enjoy and are proud of their local teams. But the Olympics increasingly is less about sports than it is about real estate and than it is about, because it's a money-making opportunity for its corporate sponsors."

We discussed how the people of Boston and the surrounding region have been kept out of the process of this bid; the lack of transparency of Boston 2024, the official bid committee; how much of this bid is really a "land grab"; how the Olympic Games usually lead to a financial net loss for the host cities and even a decline in tourism; how the massive debts incurred by Greece for hosting the 2004 Athens Olympics were one factor exacerbating that country's economic and debt crises; how NoBoston2024 has had to use public records' requests to obtain information on the details of this bid; the powerful use of social media in educating people and organizing people against the bid; and much more.

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