USA Left High and Dry Again: No Olympic Bid for 2020 Games

The United States will not submit a bid for the 2020 Olympics, the USOC told the media today. Interested countries have until September 1 of this year to submit a bid, with the winning city being announced in 2013.

The decision was made based on a revenue-sharing dispute between the USOC and the International Olympic Committee. The USOC believes that is is due a larger share of the revenue, given that American television audiences and American athletes drive so much of the international sponsorship demand. Currently, the Americans’ cut is 20 percent of global sponsorship revenues and 12.75% of the U.S. Broadcast rights deal (that was recently won by NBC from 2014-2020 for $4.3 billion). USOC spokespeople said that they didn’t want a United States bid to force a rushed resolution to the revenue-sharing issue that wasn’t in the best interest of their athletes, and they didn’t feel like they could dedicate the attention to an Olympic bid.

What’s not being said here, but is widely understood, is that the dismal voting finishes by New York in 2012 (4th out of 5) and Chicago in 2016 (4th out of 4) voting was because of worldwide resentment over how much influence the USOC wields, and is trying to increase, upon the global Olympic movement.

The United States have never hosted the FINA Long Course World Championships, and haven’t hosted an Olympics since 1996. Unless the US wins the 2019 FINA World Championship bid, which at this point seems unlikely, that means that by 2020, the United States will have only hosted all of the World’s best swimmers twice in the last 88 or so years. That’s a bit of a pitiful statistic for the country that has about two-and-a-half times as many medals as any other country all-time at those events.

Cities that have submitted bids for the 2020 Olympics include Rome, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid, all of whom seem, superficially at least, to be quality candidates.

The murmurs amongst American swim fans are growing to get a World Championship/Olympic swimming event back to the United States. Stay tuned over the next few weeks, as we’ll look at where some of the best candidates for a World Championship bid in 2019 or beyond might be. Remember that the criteria will require a main swimming stadium of somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 seats or better, as well as sufficient pool capacity to hold a simultaneous water polo tournament, a full 50-meter warmup/warmdown pool adjacent, and a full dive tank.

Have some cities that you’d like us to explore? Leave them in the comments.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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