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Committee To Examine Benefits, Risks With Winter Olympics

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- The city of Denver and state leaders are taking the first steps towards putting in a bid for the 2022 Winter Games. An exploratory committee has been formed.

The committee will closely examine the benefits and risks with hosting the Olympics. They’ll then send their recommendation to Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Colorado voters turned down the 1976 Winter Olympics. State leaders haven’t forgotten turning down the games but they’re hoping the U.S. Olympic Committee may have.

“I think enough time has passed that we can really take a fresh look,” said Olympic exploratory committee co-chair Anne Warhover.

Warhover believes Colorado has a lot to offer by hosting the games.

“We can use it to identify Colorado as the healthiest state in the nation and use that as a branding opportunity,” said Warhover.

When Chicago failed to secure the bid for the 2016 Summer Games, the focus for a U.S. destination city shifted to Denver.

Colorado has an extensive history of world class events, including the World Cup Skiing and the USA Pro-Cycling Challenge.

“We want to make sure we don’t get out over our skis as you might say,” said Hickenlooper.

The 20 person committee has some big names on the list, like skiing star and University of Colorado graduate Jeremy Bloom.

“This is exploratory and we’re going to ask the hard questions and get the hard facts, real data,” said Hickenlooper.

The Olympics could be a benefit to the state’s infrastructure, providing needed federal money to fix traffic problems on Interstate 70.

The committee will begin meeting after Jan. 1, 2012 and then pass their recommendation on in March.

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