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When Hawley MacLean, President and CEO of MacLean Financial Group, was named to the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition Board last summer, he never dreamed his sons would receive “rock star” treatment in Beijing, China a few months later. But they did.
“We were guests of the mayor of Beijing for the International Olympic Committee’s Lausanne Summit which brings past, present and future Olympic Games hosts together,” MacLean explained. “While we were in meetings, our families were touring the city.”
While MacLean was in meetings the first day of the Summit, his sons, Harris, age 10 and Will, age, 5 were touring the city with their mother, Daphine. Tours were heavily covered by Chinese media there to focus on the more than 120 individuals from cities around the world gathered in Beijing.
The blond-hair, blue-eyed and green-eyed MacLean boys became a favorite of news media photographers the first day of tours and they were featured on TV news broadcasts almost immediately.
Soon, everywhere they went, locals clambered to take a photograph with the boys. The “rock star” nearly mob-like treatment was a real surprise for them.
What was not a surprise for MacLean at the Lausanne Summit was the fact that the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition is on the right track in preparing for a potential Winter Games bid.
“First, there’s the environment,” MacLean said. “There’s real concern about the environment when you’re hosting one of the biggest events in the world.”
The Coalition shares the same views and the goal is having the environment enhanced by hosting major events.
“We’re working with environmental groups to address that issue in both Reno and Lake Tahoe,” Maclean explained.
There is also a big push to have legacy and sustainability for venues and housing at a Winter Games site.
“Infrastructure needs to be useful after any major event,” he said. “We’re working with regional transportation agencies. If we build Olympic housing, the goal is to have it incorporated into useful student and affordable community housing. The same applies for venue construction. We’d like to make certain the venues would be used by the university, colleges and the community after the event.”
History and culture is another important factor for the site interested in hosting the Winter Games.
“Northern Nevada and Northern California have a rich history,” MacLean said.
Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition leaders say the entire community will have to get involved if the region is invited to bid on the games for the year 2022.
“Working toward a potential Winter Games bid is truly a region-wide effort,” said Jon Killoran, chief executive officer of the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition. “If you’d like to get involved, or if you want more information on the Winter Games Coalition, call 775-622-3345 or visit our website at www.renotahoewintergames.org.”
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