Home / World News / Is Denver capable of hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics? Does it want to? – The Denver Post

Is Denver capable of hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics? Does it want to? – The Denver Post

Leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee have already said they were looking to host the Winter Games, nodding to Colorado as a potential location.

But if they did, would Denver be willing — or able — to play the host?

To find out, Mayor Michael Hancock has convened a statewide committee of influential leaders to explore the feasibility of hosting a future Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

“Nobody’s made the determination that we want the Olympics,” said Rob Cohen, chairman of the committee and CEO of insurance and wealth management company IMA Financial Group.

“(What we’re) trying to do is do our process so that when the United States is ready to look at a future winter bid, we already have the answer to whether Denver is interested or not,” he said.

The 36-member committee, made up of civic and community leaders, is charged with assessing whether the city can fund the games through private dollars, and with considering environmental impacts, community support, venue requirements, protocol, process and timing of a bid for the games.

The panel is a powerful mix of politicos, including Hancock, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, and chieftains of major companies and large employers, including Vail Resorts, Liberty Global and CH2M.

Among the many notable people on the committee are former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and retired Denver Nugget Chauncey Billups, Hogan Lovells’ managing partner Cole Finegan, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce chief Kelly Brough, CRL Associates’ Maria Garcia Berry and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Bruce James.

The International Olympic Committee in 1970 awarded the Mile High City the 1976 Winter Olympics. But in 1972, Colorado voters rejected the games after a heated campaign led by then-state legislator Dick Lamm over concerns about the stress they would bring to the state’s finances and environment.

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