Saturday, May 05, 2001

Olympics visit is July

'This is what we've been waiting for,' Vehr says

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        U.S. Olympic Committee officials will get their first close look at Greater Cincinnati's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics in July. That's when an eight-member evaluation team will visit the region to determine whether Greater Cincinnati has the infrastructure, housing, transportation, and government and public support to host the Olympics.

        “To be very honest, this is what we've been waiting for,” said Nick Vehr, president of Cincinnati 2012, the group pushing the Olympic effort here. “We think we've become the great American model for how to do the Olympic Games.”

        Officials here submitted the massive bid to the USOC Dec. 15. The governing body sent it back with technical questions March 1, and Cincinnati 2012 will resubmit it by June 1.

        The bid describes a far-flung games that would use facilities in Columbus, Lexington, Louisville and Dayton, with a host of new housing and sports venues here.

        Other cities that have submitted bids include Dallas, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

        The USOC will name four or five finalists early next year and choose the U.S. candidate city in October 2002. The International Olympic Committee will choose the 2012 host city in late 2005.

        USOC spokesman Mike Moran said the group might want to hear more about the requirement that a state or local government guarantee to cover any debt built up by the Olympics.

        “I would expect they're going to have to tell us something that will give us some comfort level with that,” Mr. Moran said.


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