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Beaver Creek's World Cup skiing may be preview of 2018 Olympics
Reigning overall Giant Slalom champion Ted Ligety of the U.S. trains for the combined Dec. 2 at Beaver Creek. The Audi Birds of Prey World Cup races get under way Dec. 4 and continue with action from the best male skiers in the world through Dec. 7.
Photo by Matt Inden 

Beaver Creek's World Cup skiing may be preview of 2018 Olympics

By Tom Boyd

December 2, 2008 —  When you’re up at Beaver Creek this weekend during the Audi Birds of Prey men’s World Cup ski races (Dec. 4-7), take a close look at everything around you: the international flags, the towering grandstand, the five-star fare inside the V.I.P. tent, and most of all the tremendous terrain, course-prep, and contours of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring race courses.

As you hum your way to the epicenter of this free, open-to-the-public event on one of America’s most efficient bus and gondola systems, try humming the Olympic theme song in your mind as you go.

Does it fit?

Does it work?

Is Beaver Creek Olympics worthy?

It just may be. Vail Valley Foundation officials have been contacted by Denver-based groups interested in putting forward a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Beaver Creek and Vail could be ideal locations to host the alpine ski racing events – and possibly more – if Denver were to host the 2018 Games.

There’s a bit of history to this story: Colorado voters declined to host the 1976 Olympics despite being awarded the Games by the International Olympic Committee in 1970. Leaders of the Olympic movement in Colorado say the economics and environmental impact of the Winter Olympics have changed considerably since then, and many see Vail and Beaver Creek as ideal for hosting the world’s pre-eminent sporting event.

But don’t just take my word for it. David O. Williams wrote an excellent, in-depth story on the subject, with commentary from the people involved and at least one athlete who supports the idea. Read that story at



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