DC Olympic bid touts 'unity' over dysfunction

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DC Olympic bid touts 'unity' over dysfunction
Opening of the 1924 Olympics at Colombes Stadium, Paris, July 15, 1924 competing athletes lined up on the field and the flags of all the competing nations formed a semi-circle around the veteran French athlete, G. Andre, taking the Olympic oath. (AP PHOTO)
Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi leads the pack in a track event during the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France, July 1924. (AP Photo)
American diver Elizabeth Becker during the women's springboard competition, during the Olympic Games in Paris, in 1924. She went on to win the gold medal. (AP Photo)
This photograph shows the official poster of the VIII Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France, in 1924. (AP Photo)
Scotch divinity student Eric Liddell, won Olympic glory for Great Britain in the 400 meter race at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France on July 11, 1924. (AP Photo)
A view of the Olympic Village in Paris for the Summer Olympics in 1924. (AP PHoto)
Olympians Johnny Weissmuller, left, and Duke Kahanamoku are seen at the 1924 Olympic games in Paris. (AP Photo)
A general view of opening ceremonies at the 1924 Summer Olympics at Colombes Stadium, Paris, France, July 15, 1924. (AP Photo)
Lord Burghley competed at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and was the winner of the gold medal in the men's 400 metres hurdles event at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. In this photograph he leads the 120 yard hurdles final for the Achilles Athletic Club at the Midland Counties AAA Championships at the Bourneville Sports Ground near Birmingham on 18th June 1927. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
FILE - This July 4, 2013, file photo shows a U.S. flag, in the shape of the country, in the outfield before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park in Washington. The city of political polarization is hoping an Olympic bid can bring everyone together. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)
OVER WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: The Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Rosslyn, Virginia, skyline to the rear, are seen in this 16 May 2005 aerial photo. AFP Photo/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Ellipse, the White House, and the Washington skyline are seen ON November 21, 2008. Estimates of up to 4 million people are being mentioned for the inaugural of US President-elect Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, exceeding any prior crowds for any event in the city. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 28, 2012 file photo, British children pose for photos under a sculpture of the Olympics rings, in Coventry, England. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington are the cities still in the running for a possible U.S. bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
FILE - This Nov. 11, 2014 file photo shows the U.S. Capitol Building illuminated by the setting sun on the National Mall in Washington. Local organizers believe a major project such as the Olympics would be able to bring groups in the city together, even Republicans and Democrats. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
FILE - In this May, 2014 file photo, RFK Memorial Stadium is visible behind the U.S. Capitol from the 500-foot level of the Washington Monument in Washington. Local organizers believe a major project such as the Olympics would be able to bring groups in the city together, even Republicans and Democrats. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this July 28, 1984, file photo, the Olympic flame is flanked by a scoreboard signifying the formal opening of the XXIII Olympiad after it was lit by Rafer Johnson during the opening ceremonies in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Glamour, celebrities, perfect weather. A revitalized and growing downtown. Iconic venues and political support. With these virtues, Los Angeles looks like an ideal fit to host the 2024 Olympics. Whether the city’s long past with the Olympics will help or hurt is a topic the U.S. Olympic Committee must reconcile as it decides whether to give Los Angeles a shot at hosting its third Summer Games. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
FILE - In this July 17, 2014 file photo, a groundskeeper drives across the field before the ribbon-cutting and opening of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. With the climate ripe for commerce, local organizers think they can make a strong case to bring the 2024 Olympics to the San Francisco Bay Area. Existing facilities for the Bay Area’s seven professional teams and two major colleges would host most of the events, including Levi's Stadium, the 49ers’ new $1.3 billion stadium in Santa Clara. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)
FILE - This Sept. 19, 2013 file photo shows cars on the Golden Gate Bridge during the end of the morning commute in San Francisco. With the climate ripe for commerce, local organizers think they can make a strong case to bring the 2024 Olympics to the San Francisco Bay Area. Bay Area traffic is notoriously congested, and could prove problematic if plans get too spread out. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)
FILE - In this April 4, 2012 file photo, San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer gestures while announcing plans for a new development project during a news conference at AT&T Park in San Francisco. With the climate ripe for commerce, local organizers think they can make a strong case to bring the 2024 Olympics to San Francisco. After all, the San Francisco Bay Area also is where Google, Apple and Facebook are reshaping the world. “It just seems like it's sort of our moment in time for this region to shine on the international stage,” said Larry Baer, the chief executive officer of baseball’s World Series champion Giants, who is spearheading San Francisco’s Olympic bid along with Mayor Ed Lee. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
In this Nov. 22, 2014 photo, Harvard and Yale football teams compete in Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass. Boston is bidding on the 2024 Summer Olympics, and Harvard Stadium could be used as a venue for field hockey. The crux of the proposal is a walkable, sustainable, technology-based event that would harness the resources of the area’s 100 colleges and universities to keep the Games affordable and compact. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2012 file photo, the Boston city skyline is illuminated at dusk as it reflects off the waters of Boston Harbor. The city is bidding on the 2024 Summer Olympics, and the crux of the proposal is a walkable, sustainable, technology-based event that would harness the resources of the area’s 100 colleges and universities to keep the Games affordable and compact. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman addresses an audience during an event held to generate public interest in a 2024 Olympics bid for the city of Boston, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Boston. The U.S. Olympic Committee is weighing whether to put in a bid for the 2024 Summer Games. Freedman competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics, in Sydney, Australia. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addresses an audience during an event held to generate public interest in a 2024 Olympics bid for the city of Boston at a bar, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Boston. The U.S. Olympic Committee is weighing whether to put in a bid for the 2024 Summer Games. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FILE - This Nov. 11, 2012, file photo shows a University of Southern California football game against Arizona State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Glamour, celebrities, perfect weather. A revitalized and growing downtown. Iconic venues and political support. With these virtues, Los Angeles looks like an ideal fit to host the 2024 Olympics. (AP Photo/John Antczak, File)
FILE - This Aug. 11, 1984, file photo shows a field of entrants during the Men's 5,000 meter event at the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Glamour, celebrities, perfect weather. A revitalized and growing downtown. Iconic venues and political support. With these virtues, Los Angeles looks like an ideal fit to host the 2024 Olympics. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2013 file photo, Scott Blackmun, chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, speaks with reporters during a news conference in Park City, Utah. If Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Washington are picked as a candidate to host the 2024 Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Committee might not feel like a winner right away. One of its first tasks will be to hand over millions in sponsorship cash to the winning city's new organizing committee. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2-13 file photo, U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst listens during a news conference in Park City, Utah. If Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Washington are picked as a candidate to host the 2024 Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Committee might not feel like a winner right away. One of its first tasks will be to hand over millions in sponsorship cash to the winning city's new organizing committee. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
File - In this Nov. 7, 2012 file photo, Congressman Bob Filner looks into the sun during a news conference at a park in San Diego. It takes hours to cross the border from Mexico, the National Football League's Chargers are threatening to leave if they don't get a new stadium, and San Diego hotels are stretched every June when more than 100,000 comic-book fans pack a convention center for the Comic-Con pop-culture extravaganza. As they mount an unusual bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, San Diego and Tijuana are playing down their shortcomings by playing up a new spirit of cross-border civic pride. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner says he and his Tijuana counterpart, Carlos Bustamante, hope to name a cross-border planning committee within the next week and unveil a logo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, file)
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2013, file photo, United States Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst, right, and USOC CEO Scott Blackmun are shown during an interview with The Associated Press in London. Most of the wounds have healed in the five years since Chicago's last-place finish in the vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics won by Rio de Janeiro. The USOC board will meet Thursday and Friday, Sept. 25-26 in Chicago. Big on the agenda is discussion about whether the USOC should bid for the 2024 Games. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 1984, file photo Bill Suiter, the official "Rocket Man" of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics, zooms in through the Olympic Drill Team and 5 foot helium balloons as festivities got underway at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Glamour, celebrities, perfect weather. A revitalized and growing downtown. Iconic venues and political support. With these virtues, Los Angeles looks like an ideal fit to host the 2024 Olympics. Whether the city’s long past with the Olympics will help or hurt is a topic the U.S. Olympic Committee must reconcile as it decides whether to give Los Angeles a shot at hosting its third Summer Games. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2010, file photo, Scott Blackmun responds to questions at a news conference at the United States Olympic Training Center where he was named CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo. Speaking at the USOC's annual assembly on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, Blackmun said outreach with politicians in Washington is as important to landing an Olympics as international relationships. The USOC has formed a committee to study a possible bid for the 2024 or 2026 Olympics. (AP Photo/ Ed Andrieski, FIle)
The mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz, right, laughs with Berlin's mayor Michael Mueller during a meeting of the German Olympic Sports Confederation DOSB in Frankfurt, central Germany Saturday March 21, 2015. Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics has been officially endorsed by members of Germany’s national Olympic committee. The committee’s general assembly voted unanimously Saturday to back Hamburg’s bid, approving a recommendation by its board. The vote officially sends the northern German port city into a race that already includes Boston and Rome and that Paris is expected to join. (AP Photo/dpa, Christoph Schmidt)
Lord Burghley (right) competed at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and was the winner of the gold medal in the men's 400 metres hurdles event at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. In this photograph he leads his heat in the 120 yards hurdles for the Achilles Athletic Club at the Midland Counties AAA Championships in Luton on 23rd June 1928. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Place your hands together in just the right way, with thumbs overlapping and the other fingers pointing to the sky, and you've created the symbol for 2024 Olympics in the nation's capital.

It's supposed to be a "U'' for unity. And, if you put two of them together and use your imagination, you get a "W'' for Washington.

Wait a minute. Unity in Washington? Isn't than an oxymoron?

One of the toughest selling points for organizers of a proposed Summer Games in D.C. will be to prove that it's not a city of inherent dysfunction - that away from the daily tit-for-tats between White House and Congress is a vibrant city of museums, theater and sports, with a solid public transportation system to move everyone around.

Local organizers believe a major project such as the Olympics would be able to bring groups in the city together - even Republicans and Democrats.

"The nation's capital has the unique ability to bring people together through the universal language of sport," bid chairman Russ Ramsey said.

Here's what to know about the city's bid:

ALL TOGETHER NOW:

Three jurisdictions - Virginia, Maryland and D.C. - would have to cooperate to pull off an Olympics. Not to mention the fact that Congress has broad oversight over the District's affairs.

It looks like a logistical nightmare, but Washington 2024 points out that the various entities work together all the time on matters such as transportation and security. If they can pull off an inauguration, the Olympics should certainly be in their wheelhouse.

"The largest expense of any Olympic Games is security," said Bob Sweeney, a senior adviser to the bid. "And the fact that we've got it pretty built in to our everyday life here in Washington, we would leverage that asset tremendously."

BALANCING THE BUDGET:

The D.C. bid hopes to do what Congress cannot: Keep the budget under control. There's even hope that games could turn a profit because most of the venues are already in place.

"That's one of the most compelling aspects of what we have available to us, relative to any of the other recent games," Ramsey said. "Our build is very, very modest."

A NEW RFK?:

The city is flush with ready-made facilities, including the Verizon Center, Xfinity Center, Nationals Park, D.C. Armory and a large convention center, but what's missing is a main stadium for track and field and the opening and closing ceremonies. The obvious location is the site near the Anacostia River currently occupied by antiquated RFK Stadium. The new stadium could then be converted into a new home for the Washington Redskins.

The city would also need new buildings for cycling and swimming, but organizers believe existing venues could take care of most everything else.

COMPACT GAMES:

Organizers initially pitched a regional Olympics stretching from Baltimore to Richmond, Virginia, but those two cities have faded from the plan. Washington 2024 now says the goal is to have 70 percent of the venues reachable within 15 minutes. The only far-flung sites might be sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, equestrian in Virginia's horse country and canoe-kayak at an existing world-class facility in western Maryland.

It also helps that D.C. is a city where a car isn't necessary. It boasts a large subway system, a major Amtrak hub and an extensive and popular bike-sharing network. Streetcars are on the way, and there are three major airports in the region.

BIG BAD WASHINGTON:

The city could a tough sell for some International Olympic Committee voters who see the city as a symbol of American arrogance.

The U.S. Olympic Committee shied away from selecting Washington as its nominee for the 2012 Games amid concerns there would be an international backlash after Congress grilled then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch at a hearing looking into the Salt Lake City bribery scandal. That's a distant memory, but there are those abroad who look at D.C. and see only the headquarters of a heavy-handed superpower.

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