By Tim Hunt
A combined Bay Area-L.A. Olympic bid in the works?Uploaded: Aug 11, 2015
The Bay Area and Los Angeles potentially are back on the Olympic scene after the United States Olympic Committee and the city of Boston parted ways.
The lack of support for Boston's bid for the 2024 summer games had become way too painful for the U.S. committee as well as the International Olympic Committee. The USOC had selected Boston for the bid deciding against competing bids from both the Bay Area (chaired by Giants CEO Larry Baer) as well as a Los Angeles bid.
When Boston Mayor Marty Walsh refused to sign a bid contract and the broader community was skeptical at best about the finances, the USOC and Boston agreed to cancel the bid to the international committee.
That left the USOC scrambling because the international group had made it clear that it expected a U.S. bid. The Summer Games have not been held in America since the Atlanta games in 1996. Insiders on the bid process indicated they were stunned and very disappointed by the USOC's decision for Boston.
The Bay Area mounted a strong bid for the 2012 games, but lost out to a weak proposal from New York City that was couched in post-911 sympathy. The international committee eventually awarded the 2012 games to London.
When New York came up short against London, some of the organizers of the Bay Area bid, namely Olympian swimmer Anne Cribbs and Helen Mendel, a good friend who lived in Pleasanton for many years, kept the committee alive with annual fundraisers, salutes to Olympians after each games and organizing events for potential Olympians.
With the Boston meltdown, there's truly a strange bedfellows possibilitybringing together the Bay Area and Los Angeles in a California bid. It could have legs. Possible venues aboundnorth and south without any additional construction. Southwest and other airlines routinely fly from a variety of Southland airports to Bay Area airports. Ferrying athletes north and southwithout Gov. Jerry's absurd high-speed railis easy with airplanes.
If purists can grow beyond the notion of a single Olympic Villages and do what Anne Cribbs suggestsputting the athletes first with a great bed and easy access to the competitive venue, that is an easy challenge to solve.
She put it in perspective telling me, "All Olympians and Para-Olympians would like to see Olympics back in U.S. as long as there are existing venues and the venues provide best competitive conditions for the athletes."
Perhaps it is an advantage that the IOC expects the USOC to sort it all out with a firm bid by mid-September. That can make for a wild 45 days, but, if there is leadership between the two regions and the governor's officeGov. Jerry is far more interested in high-speed choo-choos and jousting with global warming, but somebody may be able to get his attention if they connect the pie-in-the-sky trains with transporting athletes north-to-south.
Given the reports of sewage contaminated waters that will be the venues for the rowing at the Rio de Janeiro Games, that's not a lot to ask, but quite a bit for the IOC to consider as it just embraced yet-another totalitarian regime for the games. China for the 2008 Summer Games then Russia for the last Winter Games and now back to China for Winter Games in 2022.
What does that say about any IOC concern for human rights?