By WisBusiness Staff
Olympic spirit could be coming to Wisconsin if Chicago is chosen as the venue for the 2016 Olympics.
Gov. Jim Doyle announced today the Madison area would serve as the “cycling hub” for a potential Chicago Games, and would play host to the road cycling, individual time trial and mountain biking competitions. The University of Wisconsin-Madison would serve as the athletic village for the games taking place in the area.
“This is incredible news for the Madison area and the entire state of Wisconsin,” Doyle said. “It will bring jobs and revenue to the area economy.”
The Wisconsin Road Cycling Course would start on at the UW-Madison campus, head east through downtown and feature several steep climbs near the finish line in Blue Mound State Park. The Wisconsin Mountain Bike circuit would take place at the Tyrol Basin ski area.
Doyle said the choice is a testament to the state’s bicycling tradition, citing a League of American Bicyclists designation of Wisconsin as the second most bike-friendly state after Washington.
“And we dispute that ranking,” he said.
Bicycle tourism is an $800 million industry in Wisconsin, Doyle said, and the state has an extensive bike trail system. Pacific Cycle, Trek and Saris, three of the industry’s leading companies, are headquartered in the Madison area.
Doyle said he is “really excited” by the prospect of hosting Olympic events.
“The thought that my hometown the Olympics could actually be taking place is something beyond what could be imagined,” he said.
Chicago is competing with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro for the chance to host the 2016 event, with a selection due to be made in October.