Brooks Barnes’s Most Hilarious Quips About L.A.’s 2024 Olympic Bid

The <em>New York Times</em> writer on why the U.S. Olympic Commission ought to pick Los Angeles as its candidate city

Rumor has it the U.S. Olympic Commission will announce its contender for the 2024 Summer Games this Thursday, and the honor could go to L.A.

The list of candidate cities has been narrowed down to four finalists: Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and L.A. While we all may be biased as to which city is the clear frontrunner (Cycling Mountain Bike in mountainless Washington? Come on, now), the fact of the matter is that Los Angeles actually does have the upper hand for a multitude of very practical reasons: First, this ain’t our first rodeo. We’ve hosted the Summer Olympics twice (1932 and 1984), and so we’re basically experts. Second, ours is a city that can handle an event the size of Summer Games—in fact, L.A. is bigger than all of its competitors combined. Third, we’re in the throes of a massive (and massively expensive) public transit and airport overhaul, which will be even further along nine years from now. As Ne-Yo would say, “It Just Makes Sense.”

New York Times’ L.A. reporter, Brooks Barnes, would agree. The paper asked one of its writers in each of the four finalist cities to explain why their metropolis should represent the U.S. in our bid for the Games. The other three writers used their word counts to sing (nay, scream) the praises of their respectful cities, which got tedious. D.C.’s Jennifer Steinhauer even wasted some space trying to argue that their crab cakes beat out our sushi scene.

Barnes, on the other hand, opted for a convincing mixture of humor and simple fact. “More than 30 countries have their second largest population in Los Angeles, a region of roughly 19 million people, giving a home-field advantage to more than Americans,” he wrote. “$40 billion worth of infrastructure enhancements are underway. In other words, stuff is being built in Los Angeles—unlike in San Francisco, where something as seemingly simple as improving four grass soccer fields last year was met with litigation, protests and a ballot measure.”

Not only did he herald our many admirable qualities, but he did not shy away from being a bit self-deprecating in regards to a few of our shortcomings—despite which, he says, we’re still the perfect choice. Here are the best quips from his write-up:

The Soundest of Opening Arguments
“Have you been to Boston? It’s boring.”

Money Saving Tactics
“To save on housing costs, David Geffen can offer to host the men’s gymnastics team at his mansion. And also the men’s water polo team.”

Addressing the Drought
“True, there will be no water for the aquatic center. Perhaps the pools could be filled with San Pellegrino. Or perhaps the divers could simply be trained to land in one of those itty-bitty washtubs, the way they used to at the circus. We’ll work it out.”

The Power of Star Power
“Imagine the opening ceremony Los Angeles could put together: Meryl Streep riding sidesaddle on a dolphin.”

Closing Remarks
“Finally: Have you been to Boston?”

Listen to Brooks, USOC. And Ne-Yo.

[New York Times]