TOWN HALL: Colorado should host Olympic games (poll)

September 21, 2012
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The United States remains the best environment in the world in which individuals are free to succeed. This is reflected in the 104 medals (46 gold) that American Olympians won this summer in London, outperforming great athletes from all other participating countries.

Because Americans are generous and free to prosper, United States businesses pay more of the cost of the Olympics than all other countries combined.

“U.S. corporations have paid 60 percent of all the money, period. Be sure you all understand that. The rest of the world pays 40 percent. It’s pretty simple math,” said outgoing United States Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth at the organization’s annual assembly in 2008.

Ueberroth was perturbed by critics who said the USOC was getting too much money from its revenue-sharing arrangement with the International Olympic Committee. It was a controversy that, until this year, stifled serious talk about hosting future Olympic games in the United States.

Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and Chairman Larry Probst, the revenue-sharing conflict was ironed out with in May with an arrangement that’s fair and mutually beneficial to the IOC and the USOC. In essence, Blackmun and Probst preserved the USOC’s share of current revenues, while reducing percentages on increases in revenues going forward.

With the USOC happy, the IOC happy and the amazing show Americans put on in London, the stage is set for the United States to bid for the 2022 Winter Games or the 2024 Summer Olympics.

So, let’s make it happen. Let’s get the Olympic games back to the United States, and preferably host them in Colorado — home of the USOC.

Blackmun and Probst, who operate the USOC right here in Colorado Springs, are not thinking small. They don’t want to submit a bid from an American city. They want to submit a bid that is backed by an American city — such as Denver or Colorado Springs — and the entire country. They want the president of the United States and most of Capitol Hill on board.

They also want a bid that makes good sense of all parties involved, rather than one that burdens a city or state.

“Make no mistake, we do want to bid, and we do want to win,” Probst said on Friday at this year’s USOC assembly in Colorado Springs. “But we will only bid if the business logic is as compelling as the sports logic.”

The Gazette’s editorial board wants the Olympic games in Colorado, so we urge our state’s senators, representatives and all varieties of mayors and other local elected officials to start getting behind the effort right away. Start talking among yourselves about the possibility of bringing the Olympic games to Colorado. Try to make an honest determination as to the best location.

Colorado is arguably the most beautiful of the mainland states and has the unique climate and terrain needed to host either the summer or winter Olympics. Showing off this amazing state to the rest of the world would bring an immediate and ongoing economic boost, as it would spur tourism and economic development. Mostly, it would show Colorado as a state that is hospitable enough to host superachievers from around the world.

That's our view, so what's yours? Please begin or contribute to a Facebook discussion below this article.

Friend editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen on Facebook, follow him on Twitter

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