Hiller Instinct: We should be proud Boston 2024 Olympics failed

It's the day after the closing ceremonies for the Boston 2024 Olympics, and the word that keeps coming to my minds is "lucky."

As in: we're lucky to have escaped, and we're lucky to live here.
Boston is different!  And that's a strength, not a weakness.

Polls say a majority of us didn't think the thrill of victory and agony of defeat were worth whatever it takes, with taxpayers coming up with whatever it costs. Because many of us agree, Boston doesn't need the Olympics to be a world class city and see that having the Olympics doesn't make a city world class, unless you consider Sochi, Squaw Valley and Lake Placid world class destinations.

Still, Boston 2024 has left a powerful legacy for anyone who ever wants to get something done here in any year. And it's "Think of how Boston 2024 did it, and do the opposite."

I'm not kidding.

When Boston was selected in January to represent America for the 2024 Olympics, who knew we were even competing? Was there any public build-up, any reason to celebrate, or get behind the bid?  No, and we didn't.

All we saw were millionaires, politicians and political consultants, symbolized by former Gov. Deval Patrick, who was going to get $7,500 a day as an Olympic ambassador.
And that was always the problem:  Olympic supporters treated the games like a gift to them.  But much of the public saw it as an empty, expensive box.
Now what?

Should Boston feel "disappointed?" Absolutely not!

We should feel proud; by saying no to the Olympics, we can say yes to many projects that matter a lot more.

And we can also feel that, once in a while, government actually works for us.

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