SBD/August 30, 2011/Olympics

Denver Officials Working With USOC To Organize A Bid For '22 Winter Games

Denver has until late '13 to finalize its bid for the '22 Winter Olympics
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock are "beginning to have informal conversations about how to bring the Games to the Mile High City in 2022," according to Jeremy Meyer of the DENVER POST. For the past 10 years, Denver boosters "have been laying the groundwork for a bid." USOC Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky indicated that the next two years "are critical to making a pitch to the USOC, which would have to submit the country's bid" to the IOC by late '13. In 1970, Denver was named host city for the '76 Olympics only to have Colorado voters "reject the Games." But, Meyer notes the "newfound interest in hosting the Games is building support." For now, however, the USOC is "embroiled in a revenue-sharing dispute with the IOC, which wants a larger cut of the United States' global sponsorship revenues and the U.S. broadcast rights." Denver Metro Sports Commission Dir of Events & Marketing Sue Baldwin said, "We would be an ideal candidate. With the mountains, our winter psychology, we are the best city and state to never have hosted." The region has hosted "several national and international events, including the annual Winter X Games in Aspen, World Cup ski races in Beaver Creek and Olympic curling trials in Broomfield." Some believe that "nabbing the Olympics could help Colorado with needed infrastructure improvements" (DENVER POST, 8/30). The U.S. last hosted the Olympics in Salt Lake City in '02, and it is "undecided if there will be an American offering for the 2022 Winter Games" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 8/30).

NO BLUFFING: In Chicago, Philip Hersh reports the IOC "wasted no time depositing Las Vegas' do-it-yourself application to be host of the 2020 Olympic Games into the circular file." The "brief and polite" letter from the IOC referred to Rule 33 of the Olympic Charter, and bylaw 1 reads, "In order to be admissible, any application by any city to host Olympic Games must be approved by the NOC (national Olympic committee) of its country." Hersh notes USOC officials, who are "not approving any 2020 bids, had been in contact with the IOC as soon as they learned what Las Vegas was doing, so there would be no risk of damage to the vastly improved relations between the IOC and USOC" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/30). In Las Vegas, Benjamin Spillman cites sources as saying that Int'l Development Management President & CEO Chris Milam "wrote to the IOC seeking an extension of a deadline to have national committee support for a bid, and the IOC almost immediately denied the request" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/30).
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