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.