Reluctant Host: Denver and the 1976 Winter Olympic Games


I remember reading that the organizers planned to have parking on Evergreen Lake, which they assumed would be frozen solid enough. Many car owners would probably have found their cars at the bottom of the lake had this been implemented. This was typical of the overly-optimistic assumptions--logisical and financial--made in the planning of the games and Colorado voters used common sense in declining the "opportunity" of hosting them.

I voted against the '76 Olympics for many of the reasons stated above. I was a young voter, and I thought it was so important that the citizens got the chance to have their say. I hope we do this time as well.

In reply to by carol foreman (not verified)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Carol!

There are far more pressing decisions facing Denver and Colorado that need attention, the Olympics is not one of them.

Thanks for reading, George!

This is confusing, so was the referendum a bond issue? Was it measure 8 that defeated the Olympics or the bond vote, or a combination of both?

Thanks for your question, Miguel. I will update the language of this post to make it more clear. Simply put, yes - Amendment 8 (the Colorado Winter Olympic Games Funding and Tax Amendment) was the measure that defeated the Olympics. This measure prohibited the state from levying taxes and appropriating or loaning funds for the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. Voters approved the measure, and this meant that the $5-million bond needed to fund the games (a supplement to federal funds) could not move forward. 

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