COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Olympic officials are now confirming that Denver has had discussions with the U.S. Olympic Committee about a possible bid for the 2022 Winter Games, but there’s been no official bid just yet.
The place where they decide which U.S. city gets to make a bid is conveniently down the road from Denver in Colorado Springs.
“A bid works once a city is submitted by the National Olympic Committee and then it goes forward to an international competition to cities from around the world,” Patrick Sandusky with the U.S. Olympic Committee said.
Sandusky is the man behind the bids, including the most recent disappointment for the U.S. when Chicago lost out on the 2016 Olympics.
U.S. athletes are currently working out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and getting ready for next year’s games in London. Foreign cities will host the games for the next five Olympics.
When CBS4 was there recently Olympic speed skating silver medalist Katherine Reutter was drifting past children at training center who could compete in the Olympics 11 years from now.
“I think it’s a spectacular idea,” Reutter said about Colorado hosting the Winter Games.
The USOC just passed up making a bid for 2020 as it tries to renegotiate a revenue sharing deal with the International Olympic Committee. They insist the deal will have to be settled before there are any new bids.
But don’t think there isn’t talk about 2022.
“Cities have contacted us and have said, ‘If you’re bidding we’re interested.’ And Denver if one of those cities, Reno is another one. At this point we’ve been very direct and very open with them that we’re not looking at bidding until we get our deal done,” Sandusky said.
If the deal gets done, Denver would have to make the case to the USOC that it is better suited to host the Olympics than other American cities.
“I think the hardest part about the Winter Olympics is the skiing,” Reutter said. “You have the best skiing in the country, maybe the world, so I feel like the one thing that can’t be manmade, you’ve already got it.”
The international bid competition will be ignited in mid-2013 when the USOC’s submission of a city is due. Fifteen members of the International Olympic Committee would visit to evaluate facilities. They make a recommendation to the 115 member IOC, which picks the city.
For Olympians already training in Colorado, having the games close by is yet another dream.
“That’s an even more amazing experience than the whole Olympic experience in itself is having a country behind you,” Reutter said. “And being in that home country, you can’t get better, you really can’t.”
An Olympic bid is not cheap. Chicago spent $50 million on its bid and lost. U.S bids are all funded by donations.