Birmingham Olympic committee has Shelby representation

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hopes to bring the 2020 Summer Olympics to Birmingham are now in the works.

Greater Birmingham 2020 announced Tuesday its intentions to study the feasibility of hosting the games and announced the 20 people that will make up the group’s Olympic Organizing Committee. Included on the list are Shelby County employees Ray Hamilton, manager of development services, and Reed Prince, manager of facilities and general services.

“We must be a player in the sports industry. If you can’t play, if you are not ready to play, you can’t win. Economic sports development is a process, and we can win,” committee chairman Ron Creel said in a released statement. “When professional, civic and business leaders are willing to come together and volunteer their valuable time to serve a community and state, you know that the purpose must be worthy. Not only is this purpose worth, but it needs to be understood and supported by everyone.”

Birmingham is one of three cities in the United States to announce its plan to explore a bid for the 2020 games, according to Wikipedia. Boston and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., also are exploring the option. The online resource site also says that 17 cities in 14 countries around the world are currently showing interested in the 2020 games.

The United States has hosted the Summer Olympics four times in the past century, beginning with St. Louis in 1904, Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984 and Atlanta in 1996. Birmingham played host to the soccer games during the 1996 games. Soccer fields located at Sports Blast on U.S. 280 in Shelby County were used for practice.

Currently, Chicago is one of four cities around the world being considered for the 2016 Olympics.

Creel and the Greater Birmingham committee threw their support behind Chicago’s bid Tuesday with a resolution that said the committee will endorse Chicago’s bid before all interests of securing the 2020 games.