Denver bailed out of the 1976 Olympics, but this video shows us what might have been

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Denver was a lock for the Winter Olympics of 1976 – until its own residents killed the dream. Let’s take a look at the Games that weren’t.

You might not want to watch 14 minutes of gloriously Colorado promotional material, so here are a few highlights:

  • A cowboy and a herd of horses
  • An orchestral score
  • A view of a much smaller downtown Denver
  • “A spirit lives here – the tradition of the West”
  • Interstate 70 is a “super highway”
  • The original Mile High Stadium, called “The Denver Stadium” here, would host the opening and closing ceremonies
  • The University of Denver’s residential area would be the Olympic Village (with only two athletes to a room!)
  • People aimlessly riding bicycles in a parking lot
  • “The magic of the west”

As it ends: “We hope we’ll see you… in ’76.” Not so much.