Annapolis could be site for Olympic sailing races

Region to file proposal for hosting 2012 Games

July 09, 1999|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Annapolis could be the site of Olympic sailing races in 13 years if the Washington Baltimore 2012 Coalition succeeds in bringing the international games to the region.

Clarence T. Bishop, senior vice president of the coalition, spoke to a small group from the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce yesterday, urging business leaders to support the region's Olympic bid.

"We must show the [U.S. Olympic Committee] that the community is behind this effort," Bishop said. "The Olympics is the single biggest economic development opportunity in the world. The numbers around this opportunity are so large it's the kind of things communities are salivating to get involved with."

Bishop told the two-dozen listeners that Annapolis can expect to play a vital role in the coalition's plans.

Strong contender

"Annapolis and the Anne Arundel area is absolutely at the top of the `A list' for sailing at this point," he said.

The city is in the running for other sporting events, he said. The coalition is going to divide the region into "hubs" where sporting events could be held. Annapolis might be one. George Mason University in Virginia and College Park are also being considered. Those selections probably will be made by the fall, he said.

The Washington Baltimore 2012 Coalition formed in Annapolis last year after separate bid committees in Baltimore and Washington decided they'd have a better chance at winning by promoting the region. The final decision on where the 2012 Olympics will be held will be made in the fall of 2002.

Two Olympics-related events have been scheduled in the Washington-Baltimore area so USOC members can see the region and judge hospitality.

The USOC National Coaching Recognition Program, an awards ceremony for Olympic coaches, is scheduled for Sept. 15 through 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington. The 250 visitors expected for the ceremony will also tour Annapolis and Baltimore. The FINA World Cup Swim Meet will be held Nov. 17 and 18 at the University of Maryland Campus Recreation Center in College Park.

Bishop said the 2012 Coalition is looking for area businesses that will sponsor receptions and activities for visitors participating in those events.

The Maryland-D.C.-Virginia region is competing against bids by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Tampa and New York. The U.S. winner then competes internationally for the right to play host to the games. The finalists will be selected in spring 2002.

Bid proposal

As a first step in the bidding process, the nonprofit 2012 coalition is charged with creating a $1 million, 500-page bid proposal due to the USOC by December 2000. The proposal will include a detailed plan of sites for the sporting events, design of the opening and closing ceremonies, amenities and accommodations available for visitors and competitors, transportation, dates for the games, and regional weather patterns for the past 30 years.

"It is the epitome of complicated detailed plans," said Cathy Lickteig, a spokeswoman for the coalition. "There is a huge amount of work that goes into this."

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