DENVER — A week after a commission recommended that Denver move ahead with a possible bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, that exciting possibility came crashing to an end on Tuesday.
The United States Olympic Committee will not submit a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics it announced Tuesday, deciding that next year’s deadline to submit a bid wouldn’t give it enough time.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who viewed the games as an enticing spectacle that would help showcase the state to the world and offer a possible solution to the decades-old traffic congestion on Interstate 70, issued a join statement Tuesday afternoon along with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who also had been excited about making a bid.
“We are disappointed the world won’t come to Denver for a Winter Games in 2022,” Hickenlooper and Hancock said in the statement. “But we appreciate the thoughtful approach taken by the U.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 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 committee also decided to establish a group that will work on exploring a potential U.S. bid to hose either the 2024 Summer games or 2026 Winter Games. The group’s initial report is due in December.
“Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the United States is of paramount importance to us. We want to submit a bid that is viable and that adds value to the worldwide Olympic Movement. We believe a 2024 or 2026 bid will give us the best chance of achieving those ends,” says USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.
The USOC is focused on improving its international reputation after being embarrassed during its last two attempts to land the Olympics.
New York finished fourth of five finalists when it tried for the 2012 Games, which start in London this month. Chicago finished last in bidding for the 2016 Games, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
When Chicago lost, the USOC was widely criticized as contributing heavily to the loss because of its poor international reputation
The U.S. last hosted a Summer Olympics in 1996 and a Winter Olympics in 2002.