The O. Zone

Denver sports committee votes to pursue 2022 Winter Olympics in Colorado

By David O. Williams
Real VailJune 27, 2012
The Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee today voted unanimously to go for the gold and try to land the 2022 Winter Olympics in the state of Colorado.

The move was made possible about a month ago when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed on a revenue-sharing deal that addressed the thorny issue of television broadcasting fees.

Vail and Beaver Creek would be among the frontrunners for consideration as venues for alpine ski-racing event.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a joints statement:

"We want to thank the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee for their thorough, objective work to evaluate a potential Olympic bid. It is great news to learn about the Committee's unanimous support of a bid and we deeply appreciate the research and expertise offered in the report. We will take due consideration of the report, which will inform our decisions on next steps."

The following is the full press release from the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee:

The panel of local experts and planners exploring a potential Olympic bid voted unanimously Wednesday in support of the City of Denver and the State of Colorado pursuing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Members of the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee arrived at this recommendation following a thorough and detailed public process to explore the benefits and concerns of both bidding for and hosting the Games.

“Members of this committee began this process five months ago without biases or preconceived notions about a potential bid to host the 2022 Winter Games,” said Anne Warhover, CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation and Co-Chair of the committee. “Through a diligent, objective process, we have found that there are compelling reasons for the City of Denver and State of Colorado to move forward with an Olympic Bid.”

The Committee assessed four key aspects of bidding for and hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: community strengths and benefits, financial commitments, operational requirements, and host city guaranties.

In all categories, the Committee members found the City of Denver and the State of Colorado are well suited to serve the Olympic Movement through our shared values of sport, culture and education. This process also highlighted the City and State's ability to make a strong bid at the both the U.S. and international levels without placing a financial burden on local government or the taxpayers.

“Our analysis found Denver and Colorado are capable of financing an Olympic bid without seeking additional financial contributions from the public,” said Don Elliman, Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and Co-Chair of the committee. “Our in-depth research of previous bid cities found that even where bids were not successful, the opportunity to bid for the Games had a significant and worthwhile community benefit.”

The Committee not only made recommendations on the feasibility of a bid for the Olympics, it also recommended Denver and Colorado pursue a theme of community health, if a decision is made to move forward.

"While there are many benefits to Denver and Colorado by entering into this process, we identified significant benefits from a theme focused on promoting public health. This focus builds on our position as one of the healthiest and most active states in the nation by creating new and exciting opportunities for innovative health programs."

The Committee's reasons for supporting a 2022 Bid were summarized in a detailed report released today following the vote, which is available for distribution from the Denver Sports Commission.

“We want to thank Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper for the opportunity to explore our potential as a host city. We also want to thank the members of this committee for their time and thoughtful contributions that led to our recommendation,” Elliman said. “The next step in this process is for the Mayor and the Governor to review our findings and make a decision on steps moving forward.”


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