DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado and Denver leaders are expressing disappointment over the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision Tuesday to not to pursue an American city as host for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Last week the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee voted unanimously in support of pursuing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We are disappointed the world won’t come to Denver for a Winter Games in 2022. But we appreciate the thoughtful approach taken by the U.S. Olympic Committee to bring the games back to America,” Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a joint prepared statement.
“We respect the USOC’s process and will continue to work closely with the Committee on bringing great sporting events to Colorado and furthering our reputation as a healthy and active state. The City of Denver and the State of Colorado stand ready to consider a bid for the Winter Games if the opportunity presents itself again.”
The U.S. Olympic Committee is choosing to explore the possibility of hosting either the Summer Olympics in 2024 or the Winter Olympics in 2026.
In a meeting Tuesday, the USOC board decided to form a committee that would look into 2024 and 2026, in part because going for the 2022 Games would put the federation on a fast timeline. A bid for those games would be due in the fall of 2013.
“It’s not so much about bidding for 2022 as what strategy gives us the best chance to submit a winning bid,” CEO Scott Blackmun said. “Looking at 2024 and 2026 gives us the best chance to do that. It allows us to form partnerships with all the people who need to be involved in a bid. That would allow us to put our best foot forward.”
Earlier this year, the USOC removed a major roadblock for another bid when it resolved a long-simmering feud over revenue sharing with the International Olympic Committee.
Blackmun said he would be surprised if the USOC didn’t bid for either 2024 or 2026.
“We think hosting the Games is very important for us,” he said.
The United States hasn’t hosted a Summer Games since 1996 or a Winter Games since 2002, meaning there will be at least a 22-year gap between games on U.S. soil.
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