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Olympic bid fails in Quebec City

The Story

What a way to kill a party. Gathered in front of giant television screens in Quebec City, thousands of boisterous Olympic bid supporters hear Juan Antonio Samaranch utter three dread words: "Salt Lake City." It's an anticlimactic demise to Quebec City's three-year, $12 million bid to host the 2002 Winter Games. But Quebec City residents aren't giving up. As we see in this CBC Television clip, three-quarters of them are saying à la prochaine. 

Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: June 16, 1995
Guest(s): Juan Antonio Samaranch
Host: Bill Cameron, Francine Pelletier
Reporter: Tom Kennedy
Duration: 2:25
Bid ad: Quebec City Olympic Bid Committee

Did You know?

• The candidate cities for the 2002 Winter Games were:
- Ostersund, Sweden
- Quebec City, Canada
- Salt Lake City, United States
- Sion, Switzerland

• Quebec City finished last in the single round of International Olympic Committee voting, with just seven votes. Ostersund and Sion received 14 votes. Salt Lake City won with 54 votes.

• Salt Lake City had tried to win the games three previous times. It lost the 1972 bid to Sapporo, Japan. When Denver withdrew its 1976 Winter Games win, the United States Olympic Committee chose Salt Lake City as a replacement candidate, but the IOC selected Innsbruck, Austria, instead. In 1998 Salt Lake City lost to Nagano, Japan.

• Quebec City beat out Calgary to be Canada's choice to bid on the 2002 Winter Games. Speaking for the Canadian Olympic Association, Dick Pound told CBC that Calgary, host of the 1988 Games, was already a known quantity. That would have likely worked against that city in the eyes of the IOC. Quebec City boosters also hoped that the IOC would look more kindly on a new Winter Games location such as Quebec's Laurentian mountains.

• A key issue for the 2002 bid was the size of the ski hills at Mont Sainte-Anne. The IOC said the mountain was not up to Olympic standards and would have to be enlarged. The bid committee'splan to augment the hill with a temporary ramp at the peak and a base built on barges floating in the St. Lawrence River was seen by some as proof the bid committee was "out of their minds." The committee also considered moving the men's downhill event to Calgary.

• The bid did not have unconditional support of Quebecers still reeling from the cost of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The bid committee estimated the Games would cost $735 million to mount, but believed they would ultimately make a profit.
• 1995 was a bad year for sports in Quebec City. Months earlier the city lost the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League (the team moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche).


Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids more