Exclusive: America loves and wants the Olympics says DeFrantz as USOC prepares to discuss bid
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
December 18 - American International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Anita DeFrantz says her country loves the Olympics and Paralympics and wants to host the Games with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board set to meet this week to discuss a potential bid for either the 2024 Summer Games or 2026 Winter Games.
DeFrantz (pictured top) is part of a five-person bid Working Group that was set up by the USOC in August to investigate whether America should put itself forward for 2024 or 2026 after they ruled out a bid for the 2022 Winter Games.
The Working Group, who are all USOC Board members, are now set to report their findings to the full USOC Board at their meeting at the Electronic Arts headquarters in Redwood City, California on Thursday (December 20).
It is unclear whether the USOC Board will make a firm decision on whether to bid for 2024 or 2026 at the meeting in California but DeFrantz made it clear that a bid for one of the two Games is now imminent.
"Americans care about the Olympics and the Olympic Movement," she told insidethegames.
"As Americans, it is part of our makeup to appreciate the world's best athletes representing their country which is obviously the core part of the Games.
"So it is no secret that America loves and wants to host the Olympics and that is what we are discussing."
DeFrantz, who has been an IOC member since 1986 as well as a former vice-president of the organisation, has taken a lead role for the five-person Working Group that also includes fellow IOC member Angela Ruggiero, USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean, executive vice-president of business operations for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves Mike Plant and former executive vice-president and chief marketing officer of Visa USA Susanne Lyons.
Experts are predicting that the Working Group will advise the USOC to mount a bid for the 2024 Summer Games given that it would be far more finacially lucrative than a 2026 Winter Games but DeFrantz said the team are looking carefully at all the information available.
"The information on how much money a Summer and Winter Games makes is not something we need to research in depth because that information is already out there in the public domain," she said.
"The key factors for a bid are whether you have the facilities in place or need to build them, what will happen to those facilities after the Games and whether the type of investment involved for a Games makes sense for a city and a country.
"So the variables are obvious and the information is not secret.
"The question is how to make the right decision with information you have available and that is what we are trying to do."
An American bid for the Games became a very real prospect in May this year when the USOC finally reached an agreement with the IOC over their high-profile revenue-sharing dispute.
The dispute had caused New York's bid for the 2012 Games and Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games to falter embarrassingly.
But, after a new revenue-sharing deal was reached during SportAccord in Quebec City in May, the door was opened for a successful American bid.
USOC chairman Larry Probst and chief executive Scott Blackmun are set to give a press briefing following the conclusion board meeting where they will reveal the findings of the Working Group.
November 2012: Exclusive - US Presidential Election result won't affect American Olympic bid says DeFrantz
August 2012: USOC names panel to assess potential American Olympic bid
July 2012: US set to bid for 2024 Olympics after ruling out campaign for 2022 Winter Games