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  • Bidding for the Games: India Ambitions, Denver Winter Bid


    (ATR) India says it will bid for the 2021 IOC Session, 2026 Youth Olympics Games, 2030 Asian Games, and 2032 Olympic Games.

    (Wikimedia Commons)
    The Indian Olympic Association said it would submit an “expression of interest,” of its plan during its last meeting, according to a report from the Press Trust of India.

    Mumbai would be the host city for the 2026 YOG, while New Delhi would be host for the Asiad and the Olympics.

    The plan called for India to express hosting an IOC Session in 2021 “or onwards”. No host city was expressly named in the report. The last IOC session awarded was the 2019 meeting to Milan, Italy. India New Delhi hosted the 1983 IOC Session.

    “We have made some purposeful decisions in this meeting,” Narinda Batra, IOA President was quoted as saying. “From expressions of interest for hosting global events to announcing new committees and commissions, it's all formally plotted in our future roadmap.”

    India most recently flirted with bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games, but was dissuaded during a meeting between IOC President Thomas Bach and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bach visited India against in April, where he suggested the country try for the 2032 Games.

    The IOC is not expected to open bidding for a Summer Olympics until 2023 at the earliest, after awarding the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics together. In the meantime India would bid for the Youth Games and the Asiad. The 2022 Youth Games have been awarded to Africa, leaving 2026 as the earliest opportunity for the country to bid.

    India last hosted the Asian Games in 1982 in New Delhi, and the organizing committee was only dissolved in 2016. The last multi-sport event the country held was the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which were rife with corruption and construction delays.

    On the eve of the Games countries considered pulling out of the event, and the organizing committee was closed in 2017 leaving the government to pay off its debts.

    India is the largest country by population to never have hosted an Olympic Games.

    Committee Green-lights Denver Games

    Denver (Wikimedia Commons)
    An exploratory committee says the city of Denver should bid for the 2030 Winter Games if it has approval from voters.

    The findings of the exploratory committee say that the Games could be held without the use of taxpayer money, according to the committee's 231-page report. The United States Olympic Committee has already written to the IOC expressing interest in bidding for the 2030 Games.

    Denver’s inclusion of the need for a public referendum harkens back to after the city won the 1976 Olympics. The city became the first ever to return hosting rights of the Games two years after being it was awarded. Then, citizens forced a referendum on the project due to rising costs.

    Currently, Denver lacks both a sliding center and a ski jump hill to host an Olympics. The committee proposed three options, building temporary venues for each, using venues in nearby Steamboat Springs, or pursuing existing venues further away.

    The committee’s findings were endorsed by local politicians including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. The Games would be privately financed and had an estimated budget of $1.8 billion to $2.1 billion.

    “What was important to us was to make sure we did this the Colorado way — that if we were going to do this, this had to be something that not only worked in (the IOC’s system) but worked in our system,” Rob Cohen, head of the exploratory committee, was quoted as saying by the Denver Post.

    The Post reported that the committee’s decision to endorse a future Olympic bid was unanimous, which came as a surprise to Cohen.

    A “NOlympics” opposition group has formed to challenge the committee’s findings ahead of any public referendum. The group released a statement after the report was made public saying the conclusions were “not at all a surprise”.

    “Making the recommendation to go forward was a foregone conclusion with a committee that was stacked with longtime boosters and business interests that stand to directly benefit from a massive vanity project like that,” the statement said.

    Denver, Salt Lake City, and Reno-Tahoe have expressed interest in being the U.S.nominee for a 2030 bid.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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