If Colorado makes an Olympic bid it will create a “new paradigm about how you do the Olympics,” exploratory committee pitchman says | SummitDaily.com

If Colorado makes an Olympic bid it will create a “new paradigm about how you do the Olympics,” exploratory committee pitchman says

Exploratory committee studying bid hosts final public meeting in Steamboat Springs

Jason Blevins / The Denver Post

University of Colorado skier Nora Grieg Christensen skis through heavy snow Wednesday during the women’s giant slalom race at the NCAA skiing championships in Steamboat Springs in this 2016 file photo.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Could we? Should we? And just how would the Winter Olympics in Colorado look?

The committee tasked with weighing support for a possible Colorado Olympic bid visited the state's Olympic breeding ground on Wednesday. Beneath almost 100 athlete-tagged flags draped throughout Steamboat Springs' fabled Olympian Hall, exploratory committee member Steve McConahey shared a vision with what he called the community's "thought leaders," a collection of business owners and representatives from the local government, chamber, ski area and Forest Service.

"We are creating a new paradigm about how you can do the Olympics," said McConahey, a former Denver Metro Sports Commission chaiman and Vail Valley local who served on a committee that proposed Colorado as a host for the 1998 Winter Games.

While the committee is officially only exploring the possibility of hosting the 2030 — or maybe even the 2026 — Olympics, when McConahey talks, it sounds like a pitch.

If Colorado can host a privately financed Olympics without government subsidies and guarantees, McConahey said, more cities around the world could see a new path toward hosting a Winter Games.

Where Russia spent more than $50 billion to build railways, highways and venues from scratch for the 2014 Games in Sochi, and South Korea spent about $13 billion for its show last month, Colorado could use existing venues and throw a Winter Olympics for around $2 billion, with more than $925 million of that coming from the International Olympic Committee, which is keen to see the Winter Games return to ski-loving North America or Europe.

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