DENVER — AP -- The U.S. Olympic Committee will not bid for the 2022 Winter Games, but instead explore possible bids for either the 2024 Summer or 2026 Winter Olympics.
In a meeting Tuesday, the USOC board decided to hold off on bidding for the next available Olympics because going for the 2022 Games would put the federation on a fast timeline. A bid for those games would be due in the fall of 2013.
Earlier this year, the USOC removed a major roadblock for another bid when it resolved a long-simmering feud over revenue sharing with the International Olympic Committee.
One of the major questions the USOC must decide is whether to go for a Summer Games, widely viewed as more prestigious and harder to land, or a Winter Olympics, where the bidding is less competitive.
The United States hasn’t hosted a Summer Games since 1996 or a Winter Games since 2002, meaning there will be at least a 22-year gap between games on U.S. soil.
The U.S. has been 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.
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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Statement on the USOC decision not to bid for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games:
I am disappointed with the decision today that the USOC is choosing not to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Lake Tahoe has a long and storied history with the Olympic Movement and is the perfect venue for the Winter Games.
However, I am emboldened by the news that the USOC is committing to future games in the United States. Should the Committee choose to bid for the 2024 Summer Games, California has three exceptional options in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
Whatever the Committee decides, I am committed to helping bring the Olympics back to California whether in Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco in 2024 or Lake Tahoe in 2026.
The following is attributable to USOC CEO Scott Blackmun:
“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, and therefore will not submit a bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
In addition to the board’s decision regarding 2022, we also voted today to establish a board working group charged with the task of exploring a potential U.S. bid to host either the 2024 or 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games. That group will make its initial report to the full board at our December meeting.
We are firmly committed to submitting the most viable candidate city possible and to making a meaningful contribution to the worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Movements. We believe that exploring a bid for the 2024 or 2026 Games will give us the greatest opportunity for success.
In the meantime, we’re 100 percent focused on the most important task at hand; ensuring America’s elite athletes have everything they need to be successful in London and beyond.”
Statement from Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and the chairman and president of the Lake Tahoe Winter Olympic Committee Board of Directors:
"Over the past few months, a talented and inspired group of Nevadans and Californians have come together to explore the possibility of hosting the Winter Olympics in Lake Tahoe in 2022."
"We have always understood that our efforts were contingent upon the USOC's determination about whether or not to pursue a bid."
"In light of the decision announced today by the leadership of the USOC, we respect our nation's Olympic Committee and their decisions, without reservation."
"The Lake Tahoe region is one of America's greatest natural gems, and we believe that its place as a Winter sports destination remains unparalleled. While the USOC has chosen not to pursue the 2022 Winter Olympics, I believe, as does our board of directors, that we have laid the groundwork for a return of the Olympic Flame to this region and to our very own Olympic Valley in the future."