With the Opening Ceremonies for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing one week away, I thought we’d look at a few Olympic topics with links to the Queen City.
The closest Cincinnati ever got to hosting an Olympics was the failed bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Here is a great summary of the effort in the Cincinnati Enquirer from December 14, 2000, when the bid was submitted to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
The article includes images of the proposed Olympic Park and Village in Queensgate and a regional map showing proposed locations of all the venues.
The the selection process began by the USOC. Cincinnati, along with Dallas, Tampa, and Los Angeles were eliminated on October 26, 2001.
Many may point to the Riots of April 2001, as a factor in not making it as a finalist but I am not sure what chance we really had. An October 18, 2001, article in the Business Courier quoted a USA Today article saying Cincinnati was a 1 million-to-1 shot at being selected.
Four finalists were named and after further site visits, Washington DC and Houston were eliminated on August 27, 2002, leaving San Fransisco and New York City to duke it out.
Finally, on November 2, 2002, New York City was selected as the winner by the USOC to be a candidate for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Then after much time and a long process New York ultimately lost out to London on July 6, 2005, to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. London also beat out Paris, Madrid, and Moscow.
So while the odds were against us, I do give the organizers credit for at least thinking and dreaming big. We need more of that.
(Oh, I will also note that Cleveland unsuccessfully bid on the Summer Olympics . . . twice. Once in 1916 and again in 1920.)
And check out more images on Cincy Images.
Next - Part II: 2008 Cincinnati Olympians