Summer’s Almost Here

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We can take them.

We’re Ipswich, after all.

Boston is bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics. But let’s stay realistic, Boston. Let’s keep in mind that it can be draining for any big city to host the Olympics. Rome hosted the Summer Olympics in 1960, and they’re now expressing an interest in going up against Boston for 2024 — which actually says that Rome, after its last go-round with the Summer Olympics, needed 64 years to heal up.

Sure, Boston can handle it. Nothing against Boston. But I think it would be reasonable to point out that the 2024 Summer Olympics won’t take place for another nine-and-a-half years, and the world will be a different place by then. (During the 2024 Summer Olympics, my middle-schooler will be drinking legally. My wife will be on Medicare. And I’ll be frantically snooping around to unplot any plots being plotted for a surprise birthday party celebrating my 70th.)

What I’m saying is, by 2024, Ipswich could be ready.

The folks pushing for Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics are, in my humble opinion, not thinking small enough. The 2024 Summer Olympics should happen here. In Ipswich.

Looking out my window, thinking ahead a decade, I also believe that by the summer of 2024, these mountains of snow may have almost begun to melt.

For the first time in history, the Summer Olympics will feature a giant slalom competition. In my yard. In the snow drifts. You start in Chris and Tammy’s side yard and eventually shoot down to Linebrook Road. If you survive, the podium is over there at Ronnie’s house.

The Ipswich Summer Olympics will also feature a number of other traditional winter sports in classic Ipswich venues: Men’s and woman’s downhill (my yard). Bobsleigh (my yard). Cross-country skiing (my yard). Luge (my yard). Figure skating (Hood Pond).

Biathlon, cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting: Old Right Road.

Curling — do you even know what curling is? It’s not bicep stuff. Curling is something like shuffleboard on ice. (Isn’t it?) It was an Olympic sport in 1924, then they apparently decided it was too silly, and didn’t bring it back till 1998. Anyway, at the Ipswich Olympics, curling will happen on Pitcairn’s Way, just off of Plains Road.

Ice hockey has also been an Olympic sport since 1924. Ipswich will be able to keep it alive — in July. Sadly, our school children will be unable to attend any of our Olympic events, because they’ll still be in school, making up snow days.

Speed skating: High Street.

Look at the many other advantages we bring to the whole Summer Olympics experience:

* We will offer easy access to Logan International Airport, without the problem of how to park in Boston. I’m thinking we position IHS cheerleaders all over the airport handing out attractive little fliers. Headline: “Disembark But Do Not Park!” Underneath the headline, visitors will find

Simple Directions to Ipswich

“1A north (keep left) to 60W (keep right) to 1N (keep left) to 128/95N split (keep right) (Wait! You needed to keep right sooner!) to 1N (no, we were not messing with you; you need to take 1N again, even though you took 1N before: This time, take 1N toward Topsfield) to Ipswich Road (turn right), to downtown — YOUR IPSWICH OLYMPIC VENUE!”

* We can arm Citizen’s Query participants with arrows, and do the official Olympic archery competition in the Board of Selectmen’s room at Town Hall.

* Our boxing and fencing competitions will be cost-free, conducted entirely on Facebook.

* The Olympic Committee will want a badminton event. My desert-rat elder daughter, visiting Ipswich this summer during her senior year at Arizona State, was horrified to find that we didn’t have a badminton net in our backyard. She bought and installed one, and as far as I know, it is still there, under a mass of snow twice as high as any badminton net on the planet. If it emerges in the thaw we all hope eventually happens, we could do the Olympic Badminton event in my backyard. BYO lawn chair.

* I will personally oversee the canoeing event, which by then will have been an official Olympic sport for 88 years. I feel this is only right since I am one of the few people who has personally turned over a canoe in the Ipswich River.

* Equestrian events. No problem. Anything we can’t handle, we subcontract to Hamilton.

* Soccer events will occur on the Mile Lane fields. If additional space is needed, the issue will be taken up at Town Meeting and, I’m sure, speedily approved. After a number of years, perhaps, the space needed for our current student body will also be appropriated.

* Ping-pong, an Olympic event since 1988, will happen in the gym at Town Hall. My mother, who at 82 still beats me at ping-pong, will defend her championship at the age of 94, and successfully.

* Sailing events will commence from the Town wharf. Ipswich boaters who feel they know more than anybody else about sailing will co-officiate. Accordingly, this Olympic event will have more officials than competitors.

The Ipswich Olympics. It’s our future. Additional ideas are welcome via email: Olympics@DougBrendel.com.

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