Optimism was in the air in downtown Reno as the unofficial campaign to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in the Reno-Tahoe area kicked off.
"I think we've got a great product to sell, and we've got just as good a chance as anyone," says Geno Martini, Mayor of Sparks.
Mayors Geno Martini and Bob Cashell proclaimed June 23rd as Olympic Day here in northern Nevada. One hundred-sixty countries around the world are participating in this Olympic Day.
If Reno-Tahoe does end up getting the bid though, we can expect to see a lot of changes. "This could be a transformed thing for our region for many, many decades," says Brian Krolicki, Lieutenant Governor.
Some changes would include new bridges and highways, upgrades to the airport, and the games would bring more tourists to the area. "We want to answer the call quickly and loudly, and successfully," says Krolicki.
For something this big to happen though, organizers say local support will be needed. To drum up some of that support, Mackay Stadium will host the first ever Olympic Day Family Festival this Saturday. The stadium will be turned into an arena for kids to try some real Olympic games.
Jon Killoran of the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition (RTWGC), says he wants to get locals excited about the bid process.
"I hope that the community shows up and soaks in the Olympic spirit that will be out there," he says.
With local support and some optimism, Mayor Cashell says Reno can get the bid and bring an economic boost to this area.
"I think they've got a chance," he says. "I really do. I think we can work on it and put a good program together, and I think it'll work out."
The United States Olympic Committee will be make bid selections sometime next year. If Reno-Tahoe gets the United States bid, it then has be selected by the International Olympic Committee in 2015. And that's when we could start seeing some changes around the area.
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