Loose Lips

Tony Williams Backs Olympic Bid, But Vince Gray Isn’t So Sure

Former mayor Tony Williams is one of several District bigwigs backing the city's (potentially ruinous!) bid to host the Olympics, joining the board of the group trying to win the event for the D.C. area.

Washington 2024's board includes other worthies, including principal Nationals owner Mark D. Lerner, chef José Andrés, BET cofounder Sheila Johnson, former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and Washington Informer publisher Denise Rolark-Barnes.

The announcement of the board is at least a more transparent step for Washington 2024, which has been criticized for its secrecy. Still, Vince Gray hasn't been won over. In a statement, Gray says he's "excited" about the possibility of the District hosting the games, but isn't sold yet.

"The only way this would make sense for the District is if we can assure our residents that the necessary investments in infrastructure, transportation, and housing would ultimately benefit them," Gray said in a statement.

Of course, Gray won't be in charge after January, much less in 2024. Mayoral hopefuls David Catania and Muriel Bowser didn't respond to immediate requests for comment about the Olympics, but Independent Carol Schwartz isn't ready to go for the gold.

"I have much higher priorities for our city," Schwartz writes in an email.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • AGant

    I don't think we need to spend our tax dollars on this. Where will we put all the facilities? Our city can't afford this in terms of space or money. I hope we don't get the Olympics.

  • WilhelmOgle

    And you thought the graft of the Sochi olympics was monumental. HA.