Larry Bird, Big Papi, Meb Keflezighi on Olympic bid board - Metro US

Larry Bird, Big Papi, Meb Keflezighi on Olympic bid board

Larry Bird, during his playing days with the Boston Celtics.

The board of directors for the group spearheading Boston’s Olympic bid includes Celtics legends Larry Bird and JoJo White, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi.

The board for Boston 2024 held its inaugural meeting Wednesday. That group hopes to land the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Whether Larry Legend and company will be able to change people’s minds about the bid remains to be seen. A poll released earlier this month indicates about half of Boston area residents oppose the idea. Critics are concerned about lack of transparency in the bid, potential cost overruns and minimal economic pay-off from the games.

Boston 2024’s board chairman is John Fish, who is the CEO of Suffolk Construction, the state’s largest construction firm. The board’s vice chairmen include Steve Pagliuca, a managing partner of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Celtics and Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

In addition to Bird, White, Ortiz and Keflezighi, the board includes Olympian Michelle Kwan, and Boston Marathon winner and paralympian Cheri Blauwet.

Local civic and philanthropic leaders as well as United States Olympic Committee members, are also serving on the board, which will “provide governance oversight on key policy issues leading up to the final bid,” according to a press release.

“We’re tapping into a diverse base of support, experience and counsel to develop a winning plan that aligns with the long-term vision of Boston and brings back to the U.S. the spirit and community building power of the Olympic Games,” said Fish in a statement.

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