Saturday, January 28, 2023

"The Olympics that Never Happened"

Coming February 14 from University of Texas Press: The Olympics that Never Happened: Denver '76 and the Politics of Growth by Adam Berg.

About the book, from the publisher:

If you don't recall the 1976 Denver Olympic Games, it's because they never happened. The Mile-High City won the right to host the winter games and then was forced by Colorado citizens to back away from its successful Olympic bid through a statewide ballot initiative. Adam Berg details the powerful Colorado regime that gained the games for Denver and the grassroots activism that brought down its Olympic dreams, and he explores the legacy of this milestone moment for the games and politics in the United States.

The ink was hardly dry on Denver's host agreement when Mexican American and African American urbanites, white middle-class environmentalists, and fiscally concerned local politicians realized opposition to the Olympics provided them new political openings. The Olympics quickly became a platform for taking stands on a range of issues, from conservation to urban livability to the very idea of growth, which for decades had been unquestioned in Colorado. The Olympics That Never Happened argues that hostility to the Olympics galvanized and empowered diverse citizens in a major US city, with long-term ramifications for Colorado and political activism elsewhere. The Olympics themselves were changed forever, compelling organizers to take seriously competing interests from subgroups within their communities.
--Marshal Zeringue