The Lake Tahoe Olympic Bid
With the 2012 Olympics just starting this week the buzz about all things related to these prestigious international games has grown to an audible roar. Keep an eye out and you will even see our favorite travel destination (Lake Tahoe!) mentioned in the midst of it all.
So why has Lake Tahoe come to the forefront of our 2012 Olympics news? News on the block is they almost put in a bid for the 2022 games. While it turns out that didn't end up happening due to the fact that earlier this month the United States Olympic Committee decided not to offer any bids, it's still possible that you will see Lake Tahoe submitted as an Olympic bid for 2024 or 2026!
About three months ago the Lake Tahoe region pulled together the Lake Tahoe Winter Games Exploratory Committee (LTWGEC), a group of officials to work on a 2022 Olympic bid for the Winter Games. Their biggest competitor would have been Denver, Colorado. The list of reasons Lake Tahoe would be an excellent place to host the Olympics is extensive; read on to see quotations from Lake Tahoe officials and Olympians who would love to see the games held here.
- Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki: "Imagine Lake Tahoe being in almost every picture? They can see for themselves what we have to offer." (source: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Steve Hoch, executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association: “We think it's a spark for commercial efforts here in the basin...It puts us on an international stage once again.” (source: Tahoe Bonanza)
- Chad Fleischer, former U.S. Ski Team Olympian: “It would be an amazing venue. It would be great to see the Olympics held in a place with such great people and such great skiing.” (source: Lahontan Valley News)
- Jonny Moseley, former Freestyle Skiing Olympian: “Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on the planet...In 1960, the world took a chance on making Squaw Valley its choice for the Olympics. We’re proud to invite everyone back.” (source: Examiner.com)
- Tamara McKinney, former Downhill Skiing Olympian: “I grew up here in Lake Tahoe...It is a magical place with great mountains that would anchor some of the most breathtaking downhill skiing events in history. Standing atop one of our peaks and looking at that beautiful Lake Tahoe will be a memory that everyone - Olympians and spectators alike – will never forget.” (source: Examiner.com)
- Kristi Yamaguchi, former Figure Skating Olympian: “The members of the Olympic family on our team are ready to show the world the astounding assets this region has to offer the world.” (source: Examiner.com)
- Bret Hedican, former Ice Hockey Olympian: “As Olympians, we are used to tough challenges and intense competition...I’m proud to be a part of this team as it explores a potential bid. I’d put our region - with all of its natural beauty and incredible human creativity – up against any place in the world.” (source: Examiner.com)
Now that the dust has settled and we know for sure that 2022 is out of the question, it seems like the Lake Tahoe area is only more excited than it was before to prepare a bid for future Olympic Games! The members of the original committee have put forth statements that the delay in bid options is actually potentially a great thing for Lake Tahoe. Now the region has the time to build up its venues to their full capacity and invite a wide variety of world-class games and events to Lake Tahoe - both of which strategies will help to make Lake Tahoe an even more attractive competitor for future bids. Things are already off to a good start as the high-publicity Ironman Lake Tahoe will be happening in 2013.
The LTWGEC committee has been revamped and not only includes lots of big new names as additional members, but also is representing an amazing display of bi-state cooperation. Lake Tahoe is located in both California and Nevada and the two states are putting their heads together to make this Olympic bid as good as possible. Both Sacramento and Reno are expected to be a part of the bid plans, if it does indeed go through in years to come.
Quotations from Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw/Alpine (source: Business Wire):
- “We are very proud to have such an esteemed group of Californians and Nevadans coming together to create a truly bi-state effort here in our region...Our region – from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe to Reno - has the right combination of venues and physical splendor to make it one the world’s great destinations for Winter sports and this committee is dedicating itself to that ideal.”
- “Stay tuned as we’re just getting started but this is an important first step...We’re going to work with our neighbors, our community members, and create something truly special for the region."
The coming years will no doubt be exciting for the Lake Tahoe region. Imagine all of the already exciting things to do in Lake Tahoe getting even more enticing as they gear up for international approval! Sit back and enjoy the 2012 Olympics and just picture what it could look like if everything was taking place in our favorite part of the world - Lake Tahoe!
Regardless of whether Lake Tahoe does or does not submit a bid - let alone win the bid - for future Olympic Games, we love the region as do countless Olympians and other fans, and the race for the bid is great news for anyone who wants to see Tahoe getting the world-wide attention it deserves.