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Mexico City Selected for ’68 Olympics

Oct. 18, 1963 - Mexico City was selected over Detroit and two other cities today as the site of the 1968 Olympic Games. It will be the first Latin-American Olympiad in history. The games will be held in the first two weeks of October. The members of the International Olympic Committee voted after hearing presentations from Mexico City; Detroit; Lyons, France; and Buenos Aires. Detroit had made an all-out drive to become the first U.S. summer Olympics site since Los Angeles in 1932. The attempt to get the games was Detroit’s seventh in 24 years. It failed despite a 52-minute presentation in which the committee members heard Governor George Romney of Michigan (pictured) speak in person and President Kennedy speak on film. Among the reasons for the selection of Mexico City, according to the I.O.C. delegates, was an offer by the Mexican capital to house and feed athletes for $2.80 a day. The committee also was assured that Mexico City’s high altitude of 7,800 feet would not affect the health or performances of the athletes. “We shall have a go again for 1972, if I live long enough to see it,” Governor Romney said. “But right at this moment, my only real feeling is that I am terrifically disappointed.” International Olympic Games president Avery Brundage of Chicago said: “You must remember that there are more than a score of Spanish-speaking countries, and this will be a great inspiration to them.” The Mexican delegation was overwhelmed with joy at the announcement of the vote, shouting: “We’ve made it, we’ve made it!”


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