Home History Why Denver turned down the ’76 Olympics

Why Denver turned down the ’76 Olympics

by Chris Butsch
'76 Olympics

In 1970, the International Olympic Committee awarded the ‘76 Winter Olympics to Denver. Stakeholders rejoiced; the city had been trying to win the bid for 20 years. So why didn’t it happen?

Though a great source of pride and international attention, hosting the Olympics is both expensive and environmentally damaging. Naturally, when the city held a public vote to authorize a mere $5 million bond to finance the games, the eco-conscious Denver taxpayers shot it down.

Panicked, the IOC offered hosting honors to Whistler, but the Canadians similarly declined. Innsbruck, Austria, host of the ‘64 games, eventually stepped in.

Chris Butsch

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