Aug. 29, 2002, 1:20 p.m.
Alto Weekly Online Edition
Clock ticking for Bay Area in race to be Olympic
Plenty of work ahead in effort
to beat out New York
by Keith Peters
The clock is ticking. There are just 65 days left until the Bay
Area, or New York City, is named as the U.S. city to compete against
an international field for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
So, there is still work to be done by the Bay Area Sports Organizing
Committee (BASOC) as it fine-tunes the bid it will present to the
123-member United States Olympic Committee (USOC) board of directors,
which will vote Nov. 3 on which city gets to go before the International
Olympic Committee to try and win the Summer Games.
BASOC has 39 days to submit a 100-page executive summary and an
accompanying video, due at USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs,
Colo., by Oct. 8.
However, considering that BASOC must make a one-hour presentation
to the board of directors on Oct. 3, that deadline is shortened
to 33 days to finish the preparations.
"We don't have much time," said Palo Alto's Anne Cribbs, president
and CEO of BASOC. "But, I'm confident we'll get it done in stellar
Cribbs said Wednesday night the summary is about 65 percent complete.
Once that is finished, BASOC will turn its attention to the presentation
that includes track-and-field Olympic gold medalist and world-record
holder Michael Johnson ("and other surprises," Cribbs said), and
an eight-minute video.
The summary, a 50-page two-sided document, is "our best idea.
It's what we want them to know," Cribbs said. "This is not the site
committee. This is the board of directors. They haven't seen our
bid, so it's an educational process all over again."
The Bay Area and New York reached this point in the Olympic bid
process on Tuesday after Washington, D.C./Baltimore and Houston
were eliminated following a vote of a 13-person USOC Bid Evaluation
Task Force. The announcement was made at a news conference at the
O'Hare Hilton hotel in Chicago.
"It was not unanimous, but it was a clear consensus," the USOC's
Charles H. Moore said of the choice of his committee. "Everyone
on the task force supported the decision."
Moore said the Bay Area and New York won out because both have
the best chance to win against an international field.
"International allure is one way of looking at it," Moore said.
"We're looking at a city that can win."
New York's bid offers plentiful tourist accommodations, an extensive
massive transit network and a diverse immigrant history. The Bay
Area counters with its mild summer weather, natural scenic beauty
and strong political support that includes hundreds of current and
former U.S. Olympians.
The Bay Area's bid effort this week, in fact, was enhanced by
letters of endorsement from 14 current or former U.S. Olympic swim
and track-and-field coaches -- including Stanford women's swim coach
Said Moore: "What's not to be impressed about San Francisco? We
think San Francisco has one of the strongest international strategies."
Moore said the USOC task force would sell that strategy to the
BASOC reorganized its plan over the past few months and moved
several venue sites. Now, 92 percent of the proposed venues in the
Bay Area would be within 32 miles of the Olympic Village at Moffett
Field. The biggest task, arguably, would be the renovation of Stanford
Stadium, the proposed site of the opening and closing ceremonies
and the track-and-field competition.
"I think we can match up well with New York," said BASOC bid director
Bob Stiles, who previously handled 1984 Olympic soccer and 1994
World Cup soccer -- both at Stanford -- and was in charge of all
soccer venues for the 1999 women's World Cup in the United States.
"We have all the international appeal New York does. We have a great
international tradition. We have great weather and a great financial
While New York plans on spending $2.7 billion on the Games with
a profit margin of $250 million, the Bay Area bid projects a $2.4
billion price tag and $409 million profit.
The winner of the bi-coastal battle between the Bay Area and New
York next will endure a 2 1/2-year international campaign to win
approval from the IOC against the likes of Paris, London, Moscow,
Toronto, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (site of the 2007 Pan
A potential stumbling block would be if Vancouver, B.C., is awarded
the 2010 Winter Olympics. Vancouver was joined by Bern (Switzerland),
Pyeongchang (Korea), and Salzburg (Austria) as finalists on Wednesday.
If Vancouver wins out, the IOC might not want to return an Olympic
Games to North America just two years later.
The USOC, however, downplayed that argument, noting that the 1992
Winter Games in Albertville (France) and '92 Summer Games in Barcelona
(Spain) were just an eight-hour drive apart. In addition, the 2004
Summer Games will be in Athens (Greece) and the 2006 Winter Olympics
in Turin (Italy).
To those who believe the IOC won't put two Olympic Games in North
America just two years apart, Cribbs said: "We actually don't believe
that. I think history is on our side in that case. I think the IOC
wants to pick the best spot."
Continuing coverage of the Bay Area Olympic bid: