County Partnership With Olympics May Boost Effort To Land Events
Written by Eric Kalis on September 14, 2006
By Eric Kalis
The county will play a role in promoting and planning Olympics events as part of a partnership between the US Olympic Committee and the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, commission officials say.
Olympic Committee President Jim Sheer, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and representatives of the sports commission will detail the partnership in a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. July 20, said Mike Sophia, executive director of the commission. The location of the press conference had not been announced earlier this week.
Several former Olympians — including Miami resident Jennifer Rodriguez, part of the US speed-skating team at the 1998 and 2002 games — will help celebrate Miami-Dade County’s entry to the USOC Community Partner Program, Mr. Sophia said.
According to the committee’s Web site, the Community Partner Program was set up to unite the committee with a select group of communities to raise public awareness of Olympic and paralympic sports. As part of the program, Miami-Dade will be given priority status for hosting committee initiatives and events such as Olympic trials. USOC community partners include Philadelphia, Denver and Colorado Springs.
While sports commission officials are working on a bid to host Olympic trials, Mr. Sophia said, there will not be a formal announcement at the press conference.
"The possibility of hosting trial events is definitely on our radar screen with or without this partnership," Mr. Sophia said. "Obviously, the trials are the property of the USOC, so this could be part of the discussion [Wednesday]. We are just looking forward to a working relationship with the committee."
With less than two years before the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, the partnership will be launched and marketed as part of the Road to Beijing program, Mr. Sophia said. Details about fundraising campaigns and other Olympic promotions in Miami-Dade will be outlined during the press conference, he said.
"The bottom line is this partnership will promote the Olympic movement and present opportunities within this community," Mr. Sophia said. "This shows forward thinking by the USOC."