Enjoying London, USOC wants to host Olympics, too

U.S. Olympic leaders and their athletes are having such a great

time at the London Games, they’d like to host a party like this,

too, someday soon.

”We think the games need to come to America, and the sooner,

the better,” Larry Probst, chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee,

said Saturday at a news conference.

When the team returns home, a USOC panel will look into whether

the federation should bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics or the 2026

Winter Games. The United States hasn’t hosted the Olympics since

the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and hasn’t hosted a Summer

Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta.

With 41 medals left to be awarded at the Olympics as of Saturday

afternoon, the United States had won both the most overall (95) and

gold (41) medals.

Pleased as he was with that, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun also noted

that Britain was in third place in the gold-medal count with 26 –

part of its best medal haul since the 1908 London Olympics. He

acknowledged that competing on home turf can provide the home

country’s athletes with a huge boost.

”It really gives the athletes life,” Blackmun said. ”We

expect Brazil will have quite a few athletes that will rise to the

podium and have lifetime bests” in four years at the Rio

Games.

”It’s a fact of life in the Olympic world,” Blackmun said.

”It’s one of the reasons we’d like to host the games in the U.S.

in the not-too-distant future.”

America’s last two bid cities – New York for 2012 and Chicago

for 2016 – were roundly rejected by the International Olympic

Committee. The USOC decided to pass on bidding for the 2020 Games

while it shored up its international relationships and resolved its

long-running feud with the IOC about revenue sharing.

Earlier this summer, the revenue issue was resolved and the USOC

got serious about getting into the bid game again.

The bid committee is expected to give its first report to the

full USOC board at its quarterly meeting in December.

Among the key issues will be whether to go for the Winter or

Summer Games.

Possible winter cities would include Denver, Bozeman, Mont., and

Lake Tahoe. Summer candidates could include New York, Los Angeles,

Chicago and San Francisco.

”We’d like to pull off a games just the way London did,”

Blackmun said. ”We need to talk about, should it be ’24, should it

be ’26, what kind of city should we look at? But we definitely look

at this experience as something we’d aspire to.”