Drawbacks to being an Olympic host city

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February 24, 2014
By: Joan Niemiec
Joan Niemiec

Thank you for the interesting article about Theodore Wirth's Olympic Dream for the winter games as well as attempts by business leaders to host the summer Olympics in 1952. In 1988 Minneapolis and St. Paul competed for the 1996 Olympics under Gov. Perpich's leadership. I was the Tenth Ward Council Member at the time. I remember many long City Council discussions regarding potential Minnesota venues and the resulting financial costs. It was thought that the U.S. was a long shot to host since the 1984 Olympics had been held in Los Angeles. 

Former United States Ambassador to the U.N. and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young made a strong case to showcase a reformed south with improved race relations. Minneapolis could not compete with Atlanta's public transit  and airline operations. 

My husband Dick and I attended the Atlanta Olympics. It was exciting to see the athletes and venues. But, I also remember the negative publicity regarding the poorly trained bus drivers, lack of water for the participants, etc. I'm not disappointed we did not get to be host.

Joan Niemiec
Kingfield