Governor Bill Ritter said Denver might bid for the 2018 Winter Games. The governor, who made his comments as the city is hosting the SportAccord conference this week, told delegates during a speech at the conference’s opening ceremony, that “if Chicago’s not the (Olympic) city for 2016 then I think we’d make a very competitive bid for 2018, for the Winter Olympics”.
He said places like Denver International Airport and the success of the Democratic National Convention would work in Colorado’s favour.
Ritter said, “those are the things the Olympic Committee will look to and understand Denver’s a place that can host 2018 and everybody will be happy about it”.
Denver was awarded the 1976 Olympics but voters rejected any investment because of environmental and financial concerns, reports 9News.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who opened the conference Wednesday, said it is time for the community to discuss whether it wants to bid on an Olympic Games but there are certain advantages.
He said, “it would be a real incentive to fix the bottleneck that goes from I-70, from Denver all the way to Summit Country. We would have a real incentive and I think support from Washington to get a solution and let’s built it, so we don’t always have every weekend, everyone sitting in traffic all day”.
He added being able to host events like the Democratic National Convention and smaller ones like SportAccord gives power brokers worldwide the opportunity to see Denver as more than a small, western city.
Rob Cohen, who runs the Metro Denver Sports Commission, said a positive impression at this point cannot hurt, especially considering new Olympic rules which prevent IOC members from visiting cities that have actually submitted formal bids to host the Games.
He said, “it’s a great opportunity to shows them the venues, so if they’re thinking about bringing an event to Denver, we can show them how that event would lay out in the venue. It really makes a difference if they have a personal attachment to the community. If you’re close with another city on a bit, that might be the thing that puts you over the top”.
It’s also a great opportunity for the IOC (and for GamesBids.com) to experience a winter Olympic city. Thursday’s weather forecast for Denver, where SportAccord is taking place, is for blizzard conditions.
Meanwhile the Associated Press reported recently the United States won’t bid for the 2018 Winter Games, even if Chicago fails to win the 2016 Games.
United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Jim Scherr said last month, “we would have to have a shorter turnaround because of the deadline for submission of candidates for the 2018 Games. We really wouldn’t have an opportunity to regear and do a domestic process”.