Thursday, July 12, 2001

Olympic bid wins 2-state support

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio and Kentucky are contributing $700,000 to the organization trying to bring the Olympic Games to Cincinnati in 2012.

        It's the first public money for Cincinnati 2012's effort to land the Summer Games.

        Ohio Gov. Bob Taft said Wednesday the state will contribute $500,000 through a tourism fund in its Department of Development. Kentucky will add $200,000 through a similar fund. In addition, the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau has pledged $50,000.

        Gov. Taft called the bid a “once-in-a-lifetime chance” to promote the state.

        “Our budget is tight, but it's not very often that you have the opportunity to be involved in an effort to become a finalist for the Olympic Games,” Mr. Taft said.

        A Cincinnati Olympics would mean venues spread over cities in Ohio and Kentucky, including Dayton, Columbus, Lexington and Louisville.

        Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton said the money is a solid investment because the Games would affect his state for years.

        Cincinnati is competing against seven cities to become the U.S. candidate, which will then compete internationally for the Games. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) will pick the candidate city next year.

        The money couldn't come at a better time, said Cincinnati 2012 chairman Joe Hale. The USOC will visit the city July 23-26.


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