Could Bremerton host the 2022 Winter Olympics?February 26th, 2014 by josh farley
With the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, I am feeling energized. But I never imagined how jazzed I’d get when Elliot Smith, a dear Twitter friend from Bellingham, noted that Pyeongchang — site of the 2018 Winter Olympics — has around 44,000 people in it.
That, he said, would be like Bremerton — population 39,000 — hosting the Winter Olympics.
To which I replied: Why not Bremerton?
Like any sane person, I took the ball and ran with it. On Twitter, at any rate. “Let’s go for it!” I wrote, using what will become one of the great hashtags of our time: #BremertonOlympics2022
I even asked Bremerton native Bree Schaaf, bobsledder who competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, what she thought of the idea.
“I like it!” Schaaf said to the idea on Twitter. “Gonna take some serious bake sales and spaghetti feeds to match Putin’s billiondy dollar games…” she added.
Former Kitsap Sun Sports Editor Chuck Stark has already begun planning venues for the games. He suggested bobsled races down Burwell Street, curling aboard the Bremerton-Seattle ferry route and building an Olympic-sized hockey rink at the old East High School site.
Others weren’t so supportive of the idea. Shaun Guerrero told me via Twitter, “Bro just cause it’s legal doesn’t mean you should start so early,” referring to my early morning tweet — and an apparent drug problem he thinks I have. Rod, a.k.a. Torpedoman69, tried to divert the Bremerton 2022 campaign to Seabeck.
“I think Seabeck would be great for the Olympics,” Rod said, adding the Seabeck Conference Center would do well as the Olympic village.
None were so hurtful, however, as Kitsap Sun Sports Writer Annette Griffus, who tweeted simply: “No. Just no.”
When I responded to her that the Olympic fire had already been lit, she even threatened to play saboteur.
“I can douse it,” she tweeted.
But many were supportive, and I’m thankful for that.
“Can’t be worse than Sochi right?” Cooper tweeted.
Truth be told, I know Bremerton hasn’t a snowball’s chance. But just for fun, I asked Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, at the conclusion of a recent phone call, if the city could play host.
“I don’t think so,” she said.
But we discussed the very real possibility of Seattle hosting big sporting events like the Olympics. Bremerton would benefit economically, with its ferry link, she said. She also mentioned that the town ballooned during the 1962 World’s Fair.
“We would be well positioned,” for such an event, she added.