Event to showcase area's dream for 2012

D.C.-Balto. coalition plans gathering of top U.S. coaches

Olympic bid

January 23, 1999|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

The Washington-Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition is hoping to attract the nation's top coaches, along with other sports leaders, to the area for a three-day event this summer.

The U.S. Olympic Committee will present one of its major awards during the event, the 1999 National Coaching Recognition Program, which is expected to draw about 350 people.

"It is a very big deal for the United States Olympic Committee," said Bob Condron, director of media services for the USOC. "It honors the group of men and women who contribute to our success, not only at the Olympic level but at the developmental level. They train and fine-tune the athletes of today."

During the event, elite and developmental coaches in each of the Olympic and Pan American sports gather, and a top coach is named in each category, Condron said. An honorary coach of the year also is chosen.

"If it wasn't for coaches, people wouldn't exactly stumble to the podium at the Olympics," Condron said.

Houston and Tampa, Fla., which have held the event, also are interested in playing host to the coaches program, Condron said. Two years ago, Indianapolis held the gathering, which is in its fourth year. Additional bids are being reviewed.

A decision is expected about the end of the month.

For Washington-Baltimore, this is an opportunity for the region to show the selectors of the 2012 U.S. Olympic site the region's ability to attract and stage sporting and sports-related events.

"These individuals honored, as well as the National Governing Bodies, are among the individuals who will vote on the U.S.-designated bid city," said Christina Wiegand, corporate locations associate with Greater Baltimore Alliance. "It's significant that we would be able to, early on, showcase our attributes here, including our existing infrastructure and the transportation system."

For the bid, events have been planned throughout the region, with Washington providing the host hotel and banquet site.

"We thought that having the ceremony in Washington, D.C., would provide a spectacular backdrop to a nationally recognized award ceremony," Wiegand said.

Additional events have been proposed for Baltimore and Annapolis and possibly Northern Virginia.

The Washington-Baltimore Coalition has proposed Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 16-18 as possible dates.

"It's the chance to let these people know, early on, that we are truly one region," Wiegand said.

Washington-Baltimore is competing for the 2012 Summer Games against San Francisco, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Tampa-Orlando, Fla., among U.S. cities.

The USOC will choose a U.S. city in 2002.

The winner will compete against cities worldwide, and the International Olympic Committee will name a host city in 2005.

Pub Date: 1/23/99

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