Has Colorado Ever Hosted the Olympics?
You would think that an amazing state like Colorado with so many great outdoor activities would be the perfect place to consider hosting the Olympic Games, right?
Lots of people have asked the same question. Today we will take a look back to a time when Colorado was thinking of hosting the Winter Olympics. What was the plan, and how did it fall apart?
Has Colorado Ever Hosted the Olympic World Games?
It's a case of "close, but no cigar". The 70th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Amsterdam which was held on May 12th, 1970, did award the 1976 games to the city of Denver. By 1972, local politicians gave the public a chance to confirm the games or turn them down by putting the matter to a vote.
Why Did Colorado Turn Down the 1976 Olympic Games?
Denver's voters ultimately said "No" to a chance to host the 1976 Olympic games due to the overall cost of the games and the effect it would have on the land around some of our best ski resorts after roads would need to be expanded, and an Olympic Village built up to host all the athletes, coaches, and other essential staff. To this day, Denver is the only city to have turned down the games after a winning bid after voters rejected the funding.
In 1972, State Representative Lamm (who went on to be Governor) introduced Amendment 8. It asked voters to "Amend Articles X and XI of the Colorado State Constitution to prohibit the State from levying taxes and appropriating or loaning funds for the purpose of Aiding or Furthering the 1976 Winter Olympic Games." It passed with 59% of voters saying "Yes".
Has Colorado Given Up on Hosting the Olympic Games?
There are still plenty of people who would like to see Colorado find a way to be a part of the Olympics. Ideas like splitting the games between Denver and Salt Lake have also come up over the years. Current laws on the books have the power in the hands of the voters, and as it stands today the city of Denver can not use tax dollars to fund the Olympics unless voters give them the approval to do so.