Detroit was 1 vote away from hosting an Olympics games

Mexico City won by offering 20 cents more per day to feed athletes

DETROIT – If not for a small twist of fate, Detroit would have hosted the 1968 Olympic Games.

The 1968 games were held in Mexico City, and as the world watched, organizers in Detroit sat heartbroken after coming in second place in their bid to host the games in the city.

Even President Kennedy pushed to hold the games in Detroit.

The bid included:

- Wayne State's campus would be Olympic village.

- State Fair Grounds would be home to a stadium.

- Belle Isle and Detroit River would be home to a one of a kind rowing facility.

- A lower altitude -- better for athletes than the air of Mexico City.

Detroit had 19 venues, with organizers saying they could host all of the games within a 20-mile radius.

So, what happened?

The bid came down to Detroit and Mexico City. Mexico City won the bid by one vote. The difference maker was Mexico City offering 20 cents more per day to feed athletes.

Detroit has made the most bids to hold the Olympics of any city without ever winning a bid.

Here's another video that was a part of the bid presentation.


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.