After 9/11 the New York mayor contemplated cancelling the New York marathon, but they decided not to, saying the race would be a symbol of strength and unity for New York and indeed America. Sadly, this was not the case following hurricane Sandy.
CBSNews had this to say:
The New York City Marathon was canceled Friday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg after mounting criticism that this was not the time for a race while the region is still recovering from superstorm Sandy.
“That controversy (about holding the race) grew and division grew over the course of the week,” Howard Wolfson, NYC deputy mayor for government affairs and communications, said at a press conference about the cancellation on Friday night. “Those of us who love the city and those of us who love the race realized it wasn’t the marathon if it wasn’t a unifying event.”
Bloomberg called the marathon an “integral part of New York City’s life for 40 years” and “an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch.”
He still insisted that holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, but understood the level of friction.
“It is clear it that it has become the source of controversy and division,” Bloomberg said. “The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination.
Earlier, Bloomberg had said he hoped to lift spirits and unite the stricken city when he decided to press ahead with this weekend’s marathon. Instead, the move became a source of division Friday, with some New Yorkers – even some runners – saying this is not the time for a road race.
Bloomberg responds to calls to cancel NYC Marathon
They complained that holding the event just six days after Sandy would be insensitive and tie up precious resources when many people are still suffering.
Well that’s a pity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the storm-ravaged East coast of the US – an area where a lot of 2oceansvibers have spent time over the past couple decades. But if there is one thing New Yorkers have experience in and do well, and that’s rebuilding.
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