The Olympic Games Must Be Held in Vancouver, Washington
Boston did not want the 2024 Summer Olympics. But there is an American city—a smallish and wildly under-equipped city—that's more than ready for the challenge.
Photo by RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Bostonians are not the only people to realize that their city is completely unfit to host the Olympics, but their protests were the loudest—a sign of how truly horrible the idea was. The city's public infrastructure and transportation simply aren't designed to handle the massive influx of people an Olympics would bring. The Games would turn the city into a seething traffic blob for three weeks and force local taxpayers to pour the money into unnecessary new facilities just to make it kind of work. Blessedly, the proposal is dead.
The United States still has the thirst for some sweet, expensive 'lympics. Some city or another is going to make its move, but only one place is capable of handling this enormous responsibility:
My hometown of VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON! Founded in 1824 as a fur-trading outpost on the mighty Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington, is a national treasure ready for its turn in the INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT!
Here are some facts about Vancouver, Washington:
- The COUNTY SEAT of Clark County, Washington, which is the FIRST COUNTY to be founded in Washington State, which is the ONLY STATE named for a beloved American President. I speak, of course, of the Patriarch of Our Union, GEORGE WASHINGTON!
- The second largest city in the Portland Metropolitan Area! Considering the LARGEST city is an overcrowded monstrosity that is about to get RAILED OPEN by a righteous earthquake, that's pretty impressive!
- Home to THREE functioning bridges that cross the Columbia River, a SUPERMAJORITY of which are built for the globally popular mode of transportation known as "automobile travel"!
Impressive stuff, but what makes Vancouver a perfect Olympics host? Let's run it down:
THE LOCALS CRAVE OLYMPIC GLORY
I asked Erik Gundersen, a sports reporter for The Columbian, Southwest Washington's largest newspaper, if the people here really love sports. "Yes, I think so," he said. "On prep-football Fridays, the stadiums are packed. There also seem to be a lot of soccer fans in Southwest Washington."
There you have it: proof positive that the people of Southwest Washington love sports. And what are the Olympics, if not sports?
FACILITIES: WE HAVE SOME!
The Olympics are a lot like a barbershop: you need a lot of tools that can only do one thing to get the job done. In this case, Vancouver already has at least three pairs of sturdy scissors and an electric clipper.
People love to watch Olympic swimming on TV. To watch water get its ass beat is to temporarily assuage humanity's omnipresent, primordial fear of drowning. At Marshall Center in beautiful downtown Vancouver, water gets its ass beat every damn day. Look at this big, beautiful pool!
Not big enough for the Olympics, you say? Maybe, but take a step back. If you bake a loaf of bread that fits squarely into that pool, that's the biggest loaf of bread of all time! And if the IOC insists, we can fill out those side lanes, where the diving board is, and make the pool even bigger.
The Marshall Center also has basketball courts that can be converted into volleyball courts. That's two more events down right there, in one building. I am sure the community college across the street would also let the Olympics use their facilities for a nominal fee.
Pretty much all the rowing events can take place at Vancouver Lake Park. There's already a crew club and everything. Kiggins Bowl has artificial turf, so you're going to need to uproot that, plant some new grass, maybe add some seating to make it like a whole bowl instead of an eighth of one, but you could get quite a few outdoor events in there. Hammer throwing, for instance.
There are like, twenty track facilities in Vancouver, one at every high school. Does the Olympics have bowling? There are AT LEAST three bowling alleys here. Van Halen played at the Amphitheater in Ridgefield last month, and as I always say, "If a space can hold Van Halen, it can hold an Olympic Opening Ceremony." Ain't nothing bigger than Van Halen! Hell, I graduated in that amphitheater, and the lower bowl was barely half full, even though everyone in my class got like ten tickets to give out!
THE WEATHER: IT'S GREAT!
I am almost LOATH to suggest having the Olympics in Vancouver because EVERYONE will want to move here after experiencing a temperate Pacific Northwest summer, the best weather Earth can offer.
TONS OF DEVELOPABLE SPACE!
If for some reason our facilities are deemed less than "Olympic Adequate"—and I will concede we have nowhere to play cricket in Clark County, which poses a problem for the Olympic cricket tournament—the Olympic committee can just built new stadiums on one of the town's MANY FANTASTICALLY UTILITARIAN EMPTY LOTS!
Why evict thousands of people from their homes to wedge a stadium into a city when you could cheaply build on top of an unused field in an almost-major metropolitan area? It makes no sense! Here's an empty field right next to the library that's about half a block in size. I defy the IOC to tell me we couldn't stick a decent fencing facility in here.
After Olympic development consumes every open space in Clark County, if there still is the need for more construction, there's a Target near my house that could be torn down. People don't really go there that often, and the surrounding development is lousy with vacancies. My friend Will works there, but I am sure he can get another job helping the Olympics.
If this all goes as well as I expect it would, Vancouver could host the Games every four years in those wonderful new facilities, and also the rec center and such. In fact, why not have the Olympics every year right here in Olympic City, USA, on the shores of the Mighty Columbia?
That was a rhetorical question—there is no reason not to do this.
A POTENTIAL PROBLEM PRESENTS A SUPERIOR SOLUTION!
I am not going to lie to you: we do not have a lot of hotels in Vancouver. Even Portland, the largish trash heap Vancouver generously calls "neighbor," has trouble wooing the NBA All-Star Game and its cadre of thirsty basket-media nerds.
But who the hell needs hotels? They're a massive waste of space. If the world wants to make the Games work in Vancouver, they're going to need to take the ride of their lives.
Vancouver might not have hotels, or a light rail line, but I can tell you what we do have: parking. Tons of it. More parking than anyone could possible imagine.
Is there enough parking for everyone going to the Olympics to live in their RVs for the duration of the games? The answer is absolutely 100 percent yes. Can't afford an RV? Rent one. Or, if you're really sneaky, go to an RV dealer in Redding, California, buy an RV, and get it insured. Then, once the Games are over and you no longer need the RV, drive it into a river. If enough people do it, California's insurance investigators will get overwhelmed and they'll settle with everyone just to move on. Cheaper than a hotel in Madrid or wherever!
ANOTHER VANCOUVER HOSTED THE GAMES, AND THAT WENT PRETTY WELL!
I know this is pretty minor and it was the Winter Games, but I think knowing that a city named Vancouver can host a non-catastrophic Olympics is a pretty good sign for Vancouver, Washington! Even if you're being totally objective, somewhere, deep inside, you are feeling better about this proposition!
Well, I'm done, article's ove—
HEY, EXCUSE ME?
Uh, sorry...hello? I'm not used to a reader talking back to me in my article. Not very respectful, authorship is a position of power to which the reader must submit, but I will be polite and respond.
Is there a problem?
YEAH, UNLESS I'M MISTAKEN, VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON, SITS IN WASHINGTON, A STATE WITH A MODEST INCOME TAX, AND ON THE BORDER WITH OREGON, A STATE WITH NO SALES TAX, MAKING IT A MAGNET FOR ANTI-TAX ENTHUSIASTS. THERE IS NO WAY THIS COULD HAPPEN, GIVEN THAT NO ONE CAN EVEN GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER TO BUILD A NEW AND MUCH-NEEDED I-5 BRIDGE, LET ALONE A MASSIVE OLYMPIC PARK THAT WILL PROVIDE NO TANGIBLE ECONOMIC BENEFIT.
Well, I uh... I don't think I agree with—
ALSO, IF WE WERE GOING TO HAVE AN OLYMPICS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, WHY NOT SEATTLE? THEY WILL HAVE AT LEAST FOUR MASSIVE, MULTI-USE STADIUMS BY 2024 AND THE CITY IS DROWNING IN TECH MONEY.
Well, first, Seattle stinks. Second, have you ever been to Seattle? The streets are like one chaos grid stacked on top of another chaos grid. There's also no viable rail system. Not to mention the stadiums are all a stone's throw away from one another. It would be three weeks of unending gridlock.
As I was saying, the answer is clear. The Olympics must be held in Vancouver, Washington.
- washington state
- summer olympics
- international sports
- a supermajority of bridges
- ancient sports traditions
- boston being a city of crew-neck undershirted dudes fighting and/or crying
- boston not being up to snuff
- bummy pools
- copious parking
- empty lots
- living in an rv for two weeks
- olympic cricket
- the other vancouver's other olympics
- the vancouver olympics