Why should Washington, D.C., host the 2024 Summer Olympics?
Because "unity begins here," according to a flashy website launched Thursday by the team behind the bid that features photos from local soccer fields, swimming pools and baseball parks, and an assortment of tourists making "U" shapes with their hands in front of national monuments.
"We are at the crossroads of the world—home to international institutions, established destinations, transportation hubs, and world-class accommodations," the site announces, boasting the Capitol region's 175 embassies, 618 museums and 850,000 daily Metro commuters.
There's no mention of Congress or photo of Capitol Hill. Instead, they've captured Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street Northwest and Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe near Dupont Circle.
DC2024 also brags that the nation's capital is the most fit, healthiest living and most walkable city in the United States.
The group is headed by Virginia-based investor Russ Ramsey and Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who serves as vice-chairman.
Other members of the team include former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, restauranteur José Andrés and Mark D. Lerner, principal owner and vice chairman of the Washington Nationals and others with vested interests in D.C.'s 10 pro sports teams. Former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, and Mystics president and managing partner Sheila Johnson are also on board.
At least two members of DC2024 are well-connected political appointees. Jim Hudson was President Barack Obama's nominee for director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the second highest-ranking official in London after the ambassador. Mark Weinberger served as an assistant secretary of the Treasury in the George W. Bush Administration, and was appointed by Bill Clinton to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board.
Washington is competing with Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco as potential hosts. Regional political allies are teaming up to back the bid. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley declared his support on Thursday, joining Mayor Vincent Gray and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has also come out in support of the Olympic bid.
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