On Tuesday, Denver hosted US Olympic Committee officials with an eye to hosting the Winter Games in 2030. On Tuesday, Calgary voted against hosting the Olympics in 2026.
Other pertinent facts: On Monday, Reno-Tahoe pulled itself out of the running for the 2030 Games. Earlier this year, Swiss voters rejected a 2026 Olympic bid, as they had rejected a 2022 bid. Italy’s federal government has said it will not support a 2026 bid, leaving all costs up to the regional governments of Lombardy and Veneto, where the games would take place. Other cities that recently rejected Olympic bids include Hamburg, Germany (Summer 2024), Oslo, Norway (Winter 2022) and Boston (2024).
There is an obvious trend here. It seems that Denver has missed the memo.
We understand that hosting the Olympics would bring Denver much international attention and possibly heighten its prestige. We understand that there might be financial benefit to certain parties. But Olympic Games have been shown not to benefit the broader public — who of course are typically the financial hosts. The Games have also been shown to be terrible for the environment. They often encourage construction that is unsustainable and serves no broader or long-term public purpose. The stories of hosts paying off their debts are legendary — it took Montreal three decades to do so. There are well-founded arguments that the Athens Olympics (2004) spurred the country into economic free fall.
Not to mention, if climate change predictions are correct, by 2030 Colorado might well be unable to provide the required snow for successful Games. And if fake snow is the solution, well, let them hold the Winter Games in the Sahara.
Denver organizers claim they will be able to fund the games solely through private means. This sounds like the beginning of a story that ends in a bailout. Regardless, Denver voters should have their say, for an event like this would have a profound impact on the entire city, even if the city isn’t funding it. The exploratory committee seems to agree and has advised state leaders to seek voter approval up front, according to the Denver Post.
If the activists behind Let Denver Vote are successful, it could show up on your ballot as early as May. We’ll see what the mayoral candidates have to say about it.
Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News