The U.S. Olympic Committee said Tuesday it will not bid for the 2022 Winter Games, stalling Denver’seffort to bring the international contest to Colorado.
The USOC on Tuesday chose to focus its efforts on staging either a 2024 Summer or 2026 Winter Olympics, recognizing that a push for a 2022 Winter Games would be fast-tracked.
It’s not so much about bidding for 2022 as what strategy gives us the best chance to submit a winning bid, chief executive 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.
Last week, the 22-member Denver Olympic Bid Exploratory Committee voted unanimously that the city enthusiastically pursue a bid for the 2022 Winter Games. The committee estimated the cost of a bid — which would be due in September next year — would run $27.
Denver Sports, said the committee respects the USOC’s strategic process and said the delay bodes well for the country’s chances at hosting an Olympic show.
The work the Denver committee has already done is really foundational for looking forward to an Olympic bid, Baldwin said.
I don’t think it’s off the table for Denver, but for the near term, it won’t be full steam ahead, she said.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock released a statement Tuesday expressing disappointment that the world won’t come to Denver for a Winter Games in 2022. Initial price estimates for hosting a Winter Olympics was about $1.5 billion.
Not a Thoughtful approach for Denver Olympic Bid
S. Olympic Committee to bring the Games back to America. 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 joint statement read. 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 United States last hosted a Summer Games in 1996 and Winter Games in 2002. The country has foundered in its last two bid attempts. New York City finished fourth among five finalists for the 2012 Summer Games, which begin in London this month. Chicago finished last for the 2016 Summer Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro.
If the USOC leans toward a 2024 Summer Olympics bid, the chances for a winter show on American soil before 2030 are slim, which would stall underway efforts in Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe and Colorado.
The Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee was still preparing its recommendation for potentially staging the 2022 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Games, when the USOC decision was announced Tuesday.
The Lake Tahoe Winter Games Exploratory Committee last week enlisted five Winter Olympians — including Jonny Moseley, Tamara McKinney and Kristi Yamaguchi — in its effort to sculpt a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
That effort will remain intact, said committee chairman Andy Wirth, chief executive at Squaw Valley ski area, which hosted the Winter Games in 1960.
Lake Tahoe May Win Out Over Denver Olympic Bid?
More time affords better diligence, more research and ultimately a better outcome, Wirth said. Frankly, the USOC’s decision is quite understandable and extremely logical. We are supportive of the USOC and where they are headed. No doubt the energy and the spirit of our group remains intact and we will always remain at the table as an interested party in hosting the Winter Games.