DENVER — Colorado is home to numerous Olympic athletes.
It is home to the United States Olympic Committee.
It is now home to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.
What Colorado has never been home to is the Olympics.
The reason for that, in large part, is the work of former Gov. Dick Lamm, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 85.
Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics, but as a state representative, Lamm got a ballot issue in front of voters in 1972.
Amendment 8 asked voters "to Amend Articles X and XI of the State Constitution to Prohibit the State from Levying Taxes and Appropriating or Loaning Funds for the Purpose of Aiding or Furthering the 1976 Winter Olympic Games."
It passed with 59% of the vote.
Another vote in 2019, by Denver voters, keeps the city from using tax dollars on the Olympics, without first getting voter approval.
"Dick Lamm was instrumental in getting that initiative passed. I hope that people see that as kind of a capstone to his legacy," said Larry Ambrose.
Ambrose recruited Lamm to help with the 2019 NOlympics Colorado ballot issue.
"I think he did a pretty effective job of helping us to get that passed, so I'm not sure that the torch hasn't been extinguished," said Ambrose. "They always say it's not going to involve taxpayer money, and I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn if you believe that."
In 2018, after the Denver and Colorado Olympic and Paralympic Exploratory Committee worked on a potential bid for a future Winter Olympics, the United States Olympic Committee chose to support a bid by Salt Lake City, utilizing venues that exist from the 2002 Winter Olympics.
On a podcast called "City Cast Denver" last week, Robert Cohen, the committee chairman said, "Maybe there's an opportunity to partner with Salt Lake…I still believe the winning bid from the United States should be a multi-city bid, where you don't have the economic cost burden on any one city."
"They're going to build a sky bridge at only $10 billion between Salt Lake and Denver," Ambrose joked. "International competition and peace between nations is what we want. Let's figure out a place for them to do that on a regular basis, so they don't come in and just run roughshod over our cities and our countries."
As part of the Denver exploration committee's report, it said an Olympics bid funded without taxpayer money could enhance I-70 mobility from Denver to the mountains.
"Well, I think we need to improve I-70, but why should it be dependent on the Olympics?" said Ambrose.
The report also said Olympic Village housing in Denver and the mountains could be repurposed into affordable housing after the competition.
There is no active bid from Denver to host the Olympics.
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