It was a balmy 74 degrees and a bit breezy in San Jose, the potential site for gymnastics, judo, wrestling and field hockey. And it was sweater weather in foggy San Francisco, the proposed spot for baseball, cycling and the triathlon.
"I have never been to San Francisco when it's not cold. I brought my jacket with me," said inspector Evie Dennis, retired Superintendent of Denver Public Schools and a longtime board member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Eat your heart out, Houston, where the high was 95 degrees during the Olympic Committee's inspection in July.
The Bay Area was the seventh of eight stops for the Olympic Committee's inspection team, which has endured sultry weather from New York City to Cincinnati. In Cincinnati last month, heat melted an ice sculpture carved especially for the inspectors.
But the cool Bay Area weather was just what the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee had hoped for. Although BASOC members plan to impress the team this week with the area's sports venues, public transit, hotel rooms, diversity and designs for an Olympic Village on Moffett Field, the Bay Area's boosters especially want inspectors to remember the weather.
Santa Clara Vice Mayor Alydth Parle made sure to mention the cool weather during her opening remarks at the George Haines International Swim Center, and San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales slipped in a few words about it at the San Jose Convention Center.
Ironically, the inspection team's flight from Chicago to San Jose was delayed an hour by bad weather in Chicago.
The next three days of the Olympic Committee's four-day tour will be filled with showboating, boasting and sports cliches. As BASOC president and former Olympic swimmer Anne Warner Cribbs said last week, "We're at the starting block" and "we're going to win it one lap at a time."
After the inspection team tours Los Angeles later this week, the Olympic Committee's deliberations will begin as the board narrows the field of competitors. The committee will pick a U.S. city next fall as its candidate to compete against international bid cities that want to be the host of the 2012 summer games.
The International Olympic Committee announces its final choice in 2005.
The team's tour in the Bay Area, with a side trip to Sacramento, will be businesslike, even dry, because of strict International Olympic Committee rules adopted after the Salt Lake City scandal of 1998, when it was revealed that bidders had showered Olympic Committee members and relatives with more than $1 million in cash and gifts to win votes.
There were no banners, limousines or lavish parties at yesterday's stops, just some coffee, cookies and ice cream at the San Jose Convention Center.
The inspection team, some members wearing their navy blue Olympic Committee blazers, was shuttled from Spartan Stadium to the Compaq Arena and other sites in a big black bus. They heard presentations, and asked a few questions about funding for an expanded swim center and San Jose's diverse population. They shook hands with some former, local Olympians such as synchronized swimmer Heather Carrasco, who came out to meet them at each stop. The media were not allowed to ask the inspection team questions.
The last time an Olympic Committee was here -- in 1988, to scope out the Bay Area for the 1996 Olympic Games -- supporters paid for helicopter rides and rooms at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
This time, the team is staying at the Marriott in San Francisco. And they are paying, per the rules.
"We have been told that this is a business trip for them and this is not to be viewed as a love fest," said San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau president John Marks, who will meet the task force today.
Bob Stiles, who's leading the effort to sell the Bay Area as a host city for the 2012 Olympics, remembers the old days.
"It used to be whenever there was an (Olympic Committee) meeting anywhere in the world, bid cities would go and host big parties to impress them with their money," Stiles said.
This morning, the inspection team will sit through bid presentations in San Francisco at the Del Monte headquarters top floor boardroom with a view of the bay.
And if the view isn't enough to impress, they will meet San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
"Willie is the ultimate salesman for this city," said Marks. "He just dazzles a crowd. He is a very engaging and entertaining speaker, and he doesn't lack on substance," Stiles said.
Later today, the inspection team will lunch with 25 local business leaders at One Market, a posh restaurant across from the historic Ferry Building. Then, the team will head to the Cow Palace (potential site for boxing competitions), the San Mateo Expo Center (media center), Moffett Field (Olympic village) and Stanford Stadium (the Olympic stadium).
Cribbs gave the first day high marks, even though the inspectors, looking a bit tired and hungry by 7:30 p.m., said little.
"I think things are going great," she said.
Chasing the Olympics
San Francisco is trying to become the U.S. nominee for host city of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
OTHER U.S. COMPETITORS
Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Fla., Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will select its choice in the fall of 2002. The International Olympic Committee won't pick the host city until the fall of 2005.
NEXT OLYMPIC SITES
-- 2002: Salt Lake City (winter)
-- 2004: Athens (summer)
-- 2006: Turin, Italy (winter)
-- 2008: Beijing (summer)
Source: Chronicle staff
(1) Anne Warner Cribbs is leading the Bay Area's attempt to host the 2012 Olympics. / U.S. Olympic inspectors Greg Harney (left) and Charles H. Moore talked with lifeguards Jarrod Jones and Justin Karp about the George Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara. / Brant Ward/The Chronicle
Lelchuk, Ilene. "Bay Area weathers Olympic test; Temperate conditions please hosts during inspection for 2012 bid." San Francisco Chronicle 21 Aug. 2001: A1. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 11 Nov. 2009.
Gale Document Number:CJ77354542
United States Judo Association - USJA
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