Reno-Tahoe focus now on 2022


CARSON CITY -- With the U.S. Olympic Committee deciding against selecting any American city Thursday to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, Jon Killoran's job became changing the year on his publicity handouts.

Killoran, the executive director of the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, now will send correspondence touting the Reno-Tahoe area for the 2022 Winter Olympics, instead of the 2018 Games, which until now had been his mission.

"We want to stay the course," Killoran said. "We want to be the next North American region selected to host an Olympic Winter Games."

Reno has failed in six attempts to secure a Winter Olympics, but Killoran and his privately funded organization are not giving up.

Their attempt to acquire the 2018 Winter Games was frustrated in part by the turmoil in the U.S. Olympics Committee.

Stephanie Streeter, the acting chief executive officer of the committee, announced last week she was resigning in the wake of the Oct. 2 decision by the International Olympic Committee that Rio de Janeiro would host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago, the American choice, was the first city to be eliminated by the IOC.

Bob Condron, a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, said that Thursday the organization had put all of its efforts on the Chicago bid and that "there was no time to consider" Reno for 2018.

Besides Reno, Denver and Salt Lake City have expressed interest in hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Killoran has to do a lot of fundraising just to keep his coalition alive as he tries to secure the 2022 Games. The Nevada Legislature, which had been giving $125,000 to the group, cut off its funding in June.

Killoran said he is encouraged by polls that show local support for the Olympics drive. He added he believes the international committee is now more aware of the Reno-Tahoe effort since he went to Copenhagen for the IOC vote on the 2016 Summer Games.

"Twenty-seven publications contacted us," Killoran said of his Denmark experience. "They know we are on the map now."

Some of the Reno-Tahoe board members also intend to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, in February for the 2010 Winter Olympics and tout Reno for future Games.

Squaw Valley, Calif., the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, plans to have several 50th anniversary events that will emphasize its hope the Winter Games return to the Lake Tahoe Basin. Squaw Valley is just north of Lake Tahoe and a few miles across the Nevada border.

Killoran said his father will be 99 when the 2022 Winter Olympics rolls around.

"I intend to sell him the first ticket," he said.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

 

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