Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2011: #3 Lillehammer handed 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games without contest presents the fourth annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2011. These stories impacted the course of Olympic bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plotlines for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st during the holiday season.

Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2011: #3 Lillehammer handed 2018 Winter Youth Olympic Games without contest

Fittingly, the #3 story for 2010 was about Lillehammer being the sole bidder for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This year, not surprisingly, Lillehammer was awarded the Games without contest – by a unanimous vote!

So why did we elevate this seemingly non-story to the number three position on our list? The last time any Olympic Games was awarded by default was to Los Angeles after Tehran, Iran dropped out of the race for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games – that was in 1978, 33 years ago. Prior to that Lake Placid won the 1980 Olympic Winter Games by acclamation when Vancouver stepped down before the vote. Both of these bids occured around the time Montreal went into crippling debt from organizing the 1976 Games.

But both of those winners had rivals at the beginning of the campaign. The last time only one bidder entered an Olympic bid race was way back in 1932 when Los Angeles was the only city interested in hosting during the Great Depression.

Sure, this was ‘only’ the second instalment of the Winter Youth Games and we can’t exactly compare the recent economic downturn with the depression of the 1930’s – but it’s more than coincidental that cities were skittish when this bid got underway.

Fortunately, many cities are lining up to host the 2018 Summer Youth Games (#9 on our list), and others are already interested in the 2020 Winter edition.

Watch for top 10 story #2 coming soon on

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.