Most optimistic about DC's ability to host Olympics

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It began with 35 U.S. cities competing for a chance to host the 2024 Olympic games.

Now, it's down to just four, including Washington, D.C., who is up against Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

But there are still many decisions that have to be made before one city wins the Olympics.

Locals around D.C., Maryland and Virginia say there are two ways to look at the possibility of the D.C.-area hosting the games. You can either be a pessimist or an optimist.

The pessimist: D.C. can't handle the games, the area's infrastructure can't bare it, it's too much of a financial investment and, after the years of planning and building, it would be a two week headache for locals filled with traffic woes and international tourists.

The optimist: D.C.-area residents are already used to traffic and tourists, we have a lot of the infrastructure and the facilities - from RFK and FedEx field to National Park and Verizon Center - already in place, and what better place than the capitol of the free world to host the world's biggest event?

"It's just a very international place - it would be perfect," said Melissa Andretta, who lived in the D.C. area for more than 10 years before moving to London just before the 2012 Olympic games there. Andretta volunteered at those games.

"It's ironic, I've never seen London so empty as when the Olympics were going on - locals got out. Maybe that would happen here in D.C. It made for an interesting two weeks. The infrastructure, for months people were saying, 'don't ride the tube, don't ride the tube.' The tube was never so empty," said Andretta. The tube is London's version of the Metro.

"I think the Olympics would be great for the city. It's great for the people that work here, it's great for jobs," said Edmund Harley, a restuarant manager in the District.

Brook Wager agreed with both Harley and Andretta.

"D.C. could handle it. The people here are great. They adapt to any situation and the people are so clever about how they do it. Whatever happens, could happen right here in D.C.," said Wager.

The most common arguments locals had against hosting the 2024 games were the traffic and crowds.

The U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to select one of the four finalists within the next year. But that is still far from a guarantee for actually hosting the games. The U.S. winner will then bid against all other international cities before the International Olympic committee awards the games in 2017.


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