Four U.S. states support Vancouver's bid

Four U.S. states in the Pacific Northwest have formally thrown their support behind Vancouver's bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Citing potential economic benefits, the state legislatures in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington all passed resolutions in support of Vancouver, which is competing for the 2010 Games with Salzburg, Austria and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will award the Games on July 2 in Prague.

If Vancouver gets the Games, it could undermine New York City's bid for the 2012 Summer Games since the conventional wisdom is that IOC is unlikely to place two consecutive Olympics in North America.

U.S. Olympic Committee president William C. Martin said he's not concerned about the effect of the four states' support for Vancouver's Olympic bid in light of New York's bid.

"It's natural and appropriate for those states to support Vancouver," Martin told the New York Times. "I understand it. Michigan does things in cooperation with Ontario."

Martin added that it's not a given that if Vancouver gets the 2010 Winter Games, New York would not get the 2012 Summer Games.

"You have Athens and Turin, and how apart are they?" he said. "The IOC has shown it's not an issue."

Athens is the host of the 2004 Summer Games. Turin is the site of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

with files from the Associated Press