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Hope and worry as Boston contemplates Olympics in 2024

Bill Brett for The Boston Globe

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Gleaming new sports venues. Better public transit. Thousands of smiling volunteers.

This was the picture of a city alive with possibility that a British diplomat presented Tuesday as she described London’s experience hosting the 2012 Olympics to a special committee that is looking at bringing the Summer Games to Boston in 2024.

Only under questioning from a few skeptical committee members did the diplomat, Susie Kitchens, acknowledge that the Games were not all gilded in gold.

Costs ballooned about 300 percent over initial estimates and the Olympics may not have resulted in a net economic gain for the city, she said.

With the world’s attention now focused on the Winter Games in Sochi, the commission finds itself in the public eye as it prepares to report by March 1 on the feasibility of bringing the Olympics to Boston, a city that panel members acknowledged can be slow to embrace, if not outright hostile to, sweeping new undertakings.

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