Reno-Tahoe Area Prepares Bid for Winter Olympics

There has been persistent talk lately of holding another Olympics in California as early as 1992. This time, it would be the Winter Games, and although the host city would be Reno, the skiing events would be held at California resorts in the Lake Tahoe basin--including Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley and Kirkwood.

At least, that's what officials of Reno-Tahoe Winter Games told Nevada legislators this week. Brad Littlefield, the group's president, said the Winter Olympics could be staged without using state money from either Nevada or California and without damaging the environment.

The Nevada Assembly Economic Development and Tourism Committee listened to Littlefield and Duane Wallace, the group's secretary, and watched a slide show, but took no action. Last month, both houses of the Nevada Legislature passed a resolution urging support for the group's efforts.

The immediate task for the organizers is to raise about $1.5 million to make formal bids before the U.S. Olympic Committee and then the International Olympic Committee.

Squaw Valley was the site of the 1960 Winter Games, which were generally considered to be the last small-scale Games.

The main obstacle for Reno-Tahoe in 1992 appears to be that the 1988 Winter Olympics will be held at Calgary, Canada. The odds are that the IOC would prefer one of the European candidates four years later, rather than returning to North America.

Oh well, there's always 1996. Or what about 2000?

The World Alpine Championships now under way at Bormio, Italy, have already produced one pleasant surprise for the U.S. Ski Team--Doug Lewis' bronze medal in the men's downhill.

For the first time ever, the United States now has a potent 1-2 punch in the downhill, assuming that Bill Johnson ever regains the form that won him the 1984 Olympic gold medal at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

Both racers will compete next in a World Cup downhill at Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, Feb. 14, a date that unfortunately conflicts with the U.S. National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo.

However, the other top U.S. skiers, such as Tamara McKinney, who won a bronze medal in the women's combined this week, will be at Copper for the nationals, an event that gives U.S. stay-at-home racers a chance to compete against the big boys and girls, and to earn valuable experience and points for the future, as well.

The World Championships, meanwhile, continue with the women's giant slalom Thursday, the men's giant slalom Friday, the women's slalom Saturday and the men's slalom Sunday. ABC-TV will show the remaining races Sunday on "Wide World of Sports."

Skiing Notes Mammoth and Toiyabe Heli-ski is operating again this season from Mammoth Lakes and among its various deals is a two-run special for $75, available only on certain dates, including this Sunday. . . . Finalists for the third annual AT&T; Skiing Award, honoring "an individual whose commitment to excellence and dedication to skiing has profoundly enriched the sport" are Serge Lang, creator of the World Cup; Phil Mahre, America's three-time winner of the men's overall World Cup; Jimmy Heuga, a 1964 Olympic bronze medalist and founder of the Center for the Reanimation of the Physically Challenged, and Pete Seibert, the man who got Vail, Colo., off the ground. The winner will be announced early next month. . . . Mammoth Mountain will play host this weekend to both a Masters downhill for senior racers and the Grand Marnier Ski Club Championships. . . . the Peugeot Grand Prix men's pro circuit will be at Winter Park, Colo., this weekend, then will head for the Southland and races at Snow Summit Feb. 14-17. . . . The Women's Pro Ski Racing Tour has the weekend off, before going to Winter Park Feb. 16-17 and then to Snow Summit Feb. 23-24.

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