Granbury key role in Olympics?

June 26, 2013

If Dallas and North Texas land the 2024 Summer Olympics, Granbury will play a key role in the success of the games.

This is according to Dallas 2024 Bid Committee member Matt Wood, who was in town Saturday as part of Olympic Day at the Dana Vollmer Municipal Swim Center. He was joined by former Olympians Thane Baker (track), Ryan Berube (swimming), Jim Montgomery (swimming), Sammy Walker (weight lifting) and Eddie Lane (trainer).

Wood said he could certainly see a scenario where Granbury would play host to an entire country’s group of athletes.

“A lot of countries send their athletes ahead to get climatized,” he said.

“For example, the Italian team likes to come into a community like Granbury and embrace it. They make it their temporary home and establish relationships with the community. It’s pretty cool to see.

“Some 30 to 35 countries send their teams in advance.”

Lane said Granbury would be a great place for competitors in several sports to come to for the Games.

“From my past experience, facilities in Granbury and Weatherford could handle a practice squad in several events,” he said. “Wrestling could use the high school, rowing could come here for Lake Granbury…

“We’ve got a lot to offer for athletes.”

Lane’s experience covers three Olympics, 1968 in Mexico City, 1972 in Munich and 1996 in Atlanta.

Golf will also be an Olympic sport by the time the 2024 Games arrive. The Granbury area has long been a golf mecca and would therefore be a natural fit, said Walker.

“How many courses are out here?” he said. “This area is a golfer’s dream. “

The Cotton Bowl and Fair Park are the hub of Dallas’ bid, said Wood. Renovation on the historic stadium would include turning the seating situation into a horseshoe form. He also said the Trinity River Project is a major draw, along with the weather, over cities such as Houston and San Antonio.

Also, Wood said the economic impact would greatly benefit all of North Texas, including Granbury.

“From the time you get the Games, up to and through the Olympics, anybody who has a presence in the area will reap rewards,” said Wood. “You beef up the local offices, there’s a lot of corporate relocations.

“We’re bidding into a growth plan.”

Wood said even if Dallas falls short in its bid, the proposed changes to the city and the area can still go on. He saw a similar situation in Melbourne, Australia when he was practicing law there and led their 1996 bid that they eventually lost to Atlanta.

“One of the things I saw in Melbourne is that city officials said this is still the city we want to have,” said Wood. “Win or lose that bid, what we’re doing is good for Dallas and all of North Texas.”

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