On Thursday, California and Nevada officials announced that they are joining forces in their effort to bring the Winter Games back to the Lake Tahoe area in 2022. They began by forming an exploratory committee to start the process.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced the merging of two separate state committees that had been exploring a possible bid for the Olympics.
“Our new committee is the evolution of years of work by many people, and if the United States Olympic Committee decides to bid on the 2022 Winter Games, we will be ready to showcase the Tahoe region’s scenic majesty and winter games capabilities,” Krolicki said in a statement on a Thursday.
If they are successful, the games would return to the United States for the first time since Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002. Squaw Valley hosted the Winter games in 1960. Lake Tahoe is surrounded by ski resorts on or near its shores, on both sides of the state line.
Salt Lake City and Denver also are competing for the 2022 Winter Games to come to their city. U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Scott Blackmun said in February that Bozeman, Mont., has also expressed an interest in bidding for 2022.
Tamara McKinney, a three time Olympian from Squaw Valley has been helping to bring the Games back to the Lake Tahoe area. She has said that the 1960 Olympic Games left a huge legacy that has shaped the area’s development.
“I live here, I grew up skiing these mountains, and I can genuinely say that we have some incredible mountains and areas to show the world, and it’s all within a relatively short distance,” said McKinney, the winner of more World Cup Alpine ski races than any other American at the time of her retirement in 1990. ”It’s an incredible honor to host an Olympic Games and to be around the energy and feel the thousands of athletes that are really fulfilling their dreams,” she said in a telephone interview.
Officials have said the committee will not bid for any Games until it agrees on a new revenue sharing deal with the International Olympic Committee. The U.S. lost bids for the 2012 games in New York and 2016 games in Chicago.
A decision about 2022 will likely not be announced until July 2015, giving the states a lot of time to prepare a compelling bid.