BRUNSWICK, Maine — If the U.S. Olympic Committee selects Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, sports fans throughout the country will have a Bowdoin College graduate to thank for negotiating the deal.
John Fish, who graduated from Bowdoin in 1982 with a degree in political science, “schmoozed Olympic officials, politicians, the business community, college presidents, and he’s taken on critics who have slammed him for shutting out the public,” The Boston Herald reports.
On Thursday, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced that Boston is the American candidate to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction Company, also serves as chairman of the Boston 2024 Partnership, the group working to bring those games to the city.
Fish overcame severe dyslexia as a child, graduated from the Brunswick liberal arts college and now leads a $2 billion company, whose projects include the 60-story Millennium Tower at the site of the former Filene’s building in Boston, according to The Boston Globe. He also serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
He led Boston Magazine’s 2012 “50 Most Powerful People in Boston” list and was featured in its “25 Most Influential People in Boston Philanthropy” list.
But whether a Boston Olympics might mean world-class sports in Maine remains to be seen. Previous Olympics have seen locales more than 1,000 miles from the host city, but Bowdoin spokesman Doug Cook said Friday the college hadn’t been contacted by Fish about hosting any events.
In July, Kerry Hoey, executive director of the Maine Sports Commission, told The Forecaster that, despite its size, Maine previously hosted national and international sporting events, including the Junior World Championships in biathlon, a Winter Olympic sport that combines target shooting and cross-country skiing. She said events such as mountain biking and sailing also are perfect for Maine.
First, though, Fish needs to convince the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2024 summer games to Boston.
As the Globe reported, “To critics, it seems an impossible, maybe ruinous dream, a distraction from the work needed to make a better city for those who live and work here. But who exactly is going to say no to John Fish?”