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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Another run at the Olympics

Author: Guest Writer/Thursday, January 19, 2012/Categories: Uncategorized

Forget the Olympics, I used to think. Sure, they look pretty, done up in rainbow colors with classiest necklaces this side of the British Crown Jewels, but the 1980 Olympics practically brought down the Soviet Empire, and the 1984 games left Los Angeles deeply in debt. 
And so I was always perversely proud, as a fourth generation Coloradan, that my wise ancestors rejected the 1976 Olympic games' invitation to dance, the only time that's ever happened. We rejected it as too expensive and too damaging to the environment. We were smart enough to see that the Olympics are like a Sunset Strip bar girl: she's pretty and she's great for a night or two, but she'll empty your wallet and wreck your home. 

But maybe times have changed, Olympics-wise. 

Barcelona is a better city than it was before 1992, when it added a modern subway system. This sun-blessed, ocean rich city is even more of a blessing from god now that its athletes' village is used for low income housing. 

And Atlanta is a slightly better city than it was before 1996, when the Coca Cola theme park turned the largest city in Georgia from one you would not want to waste time throwing up on to a city where you might not mind a long layover ... provided you had already called a cab to get you out of there. 

And the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, headed by the man who will eventually lose the 2012 presidential election, actually made money, while at the same time updating Salt Lakes' infrastructure. Colorado ski town mayors are jealous of the Salt Lake City improvements, the last time anybody in Colorado was jealous of anything in Utah since Stockton-to-Malone. 

The bar girl grew up a little bit, got a little more careful with your money. Forty years on, the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and Governor John Hickenlooper have fresh eyes for the Olympics, and are looking into bidding for the 2022 games. 

Hick has at least one good reason for supporting the bid: 

“It could prove to be a powerful incentive to find a solution to solve the challenge of getting up to the mountains on I-70 during the weekends,” Hickenlooper told the Denver Post

Now that the Colorado Ski Train, which used to run between Denver and Winter Park, has been housed, there is only one way to get to the slopes, which is by car. And fighting the traffic can erase all the health benefits of being outdoors. A multi-billion dollar train from Denver to the I-70 resorts … Keystone, Copper Mountain, Loveland, Breckenridge and maybe Vail … could make scheduling a date with a very pretty, very fickle Olympics worth the effort. 


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