POSTED: January 13th 2012

Mitt Romney for President could jet propel a new USA Olympic bid

(L to R) IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge, Mitt Romney and US President George Bush opened Salt Lake City 2002 / SFC
(L to R) IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge, Mitt Romney and US President George Bush opened Salt Lake City 2002 / SFC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Mitt Romney, the man behind the highly successful Salt Lake City Games of 2002, is now running for US President and banking a lot of his campaign on his experience from running the Olympics. His campaign for presidency could have a huge impact on the sports movement in this country too.

One thing for sure, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members know exactly who he is and he could make a very compelling testimony for a USA bid. He and his wife Ann were in Vancouver for the 2010 Games just two years ago.

He probably will miss London 2012 as he will be right here in Tampa, Florida lobbying for the Republican nomination.

At the moment the IOC and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) are huddling again to discuss the revenue sharing agreement which many see as the biggest hindrance for a successful American Olympic bid. The re-negotiation of the revenue allocations of TOP sponsor agreements and US broadcasting rights has been a long standing dispute between the two organizations.

Chicago fell hard in the last summer 2016 bid campaign with the windy city only racking up 18 votes and falling out of the vote round first. At the last minute US President Barack Obama even made a last minute trip to Copenhagen to join his wife, Michelle, who had gone over earlier to help the team lobby IOC members for the vote.

In these days the Obamas are under fire by a report coming out through the Judicial Watch organization who details the accelerated costs of this visit ($467,175.00) which, at the end of the day, did not win the Games.

This link to this report is here:

Winning an Olympic Games is like a high stakes game of roulette, it is a secret vote and there is a huge grey zone even when there seems to be a front runner. One never knows how the members will vote.

However, Romney took up the Salt Lake Games at a time when the IOC was reeling from the votes for bribes scandal that had rocked elite sports. The credibility of the movement was questioned and Salt Lake needed someone to step in and drive home the sponsorships and get the Games on track.

Then along came the tragedy of 9/11 and once again the Salt Lake Games had potentially a new and far more serious threat to deal with: terrorism.

As we watched in horror as the World Trade Center fell to the ground, the thought ran through many minds if the Games were safe to take place.

But not to allow the threat of terrorism stop the Games, sure enough about five months later newly elected IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge, Mitt Romney and then President George Bush opened the Games.

Romney said in the press, "I can tell you that the Olympic experience was the highlight of a professional career. And that's because there was no dissension with almost no exceptions, the whole community wanted to see the Games become successful and pulled together in a way I will never forget.

“Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal – everyone came to do whatever they could to host the world in a way that would be unforgettable and they did." (Thomas Burr, "Romney: It's Politics Over Pulpit," The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/4/07)

"I never saw a more difficult turnaround situation than the one at the Olympics.  And the team, not just me, but a remarkable team of public leaders and Olympic leaders pulled off something which was a massive undertaking and which had a crisis written all over it." 
(Kirk Johnson, "In Olympics Success, Romney Found New Edge," The New York Times, 9/19/07)

Keywords · Salt Lake 2002 · Mitt Romney · Barack Obama · Jacques Rogge · George Bush

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.