USOC bars US cities from vying for 2012 in Sydney

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: The year 2012 may be on many people's minds in Sydney this month, but it won't be on anyone's lips, caps or lapel pins.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: The year 2012 may be on many people's minds in Sydney this month, but it won't be on anyone's lips, caps or lapel pins.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: The year 2012 may be on many people's minds in Sydney this month, but it won't be on anyone's lips, caps or lapel pins.

The US Olympic Committee has done everything but post a 'no schmoozing' sign for the eight cities bidding to be the US nominee for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Delegations from Dallas, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Baltimore, Tampa and Cincinnati will attend the Australian games, but any hopes of international networking have been dashed.

'We have instituted basically a choke chain on our American cities for their own good and for ours,' acknowledged US Olympic Committee spokesperson Mike Moran.

In light of the Salt Lake City scandal, the USOC has barred almost all self-promotion by wannabe hosts. But while bid- city organizers and PR pros knew they wouldn't have much latitude to meet and greet in Sydney, they didn't realize they couldn't pack their 'Pick Us for 2012' T-shirts until a recent conference call. Additionally, several receptions were canceled to prevent any incidental contact with the International Olympic Committee.

Some observers theorized that a Florida pavilion constructed in Sydney may have spurred the USOC crackdown.

'Florida can't be disenfranchised for marketing itself just because one of its cities is bidding to host,' said Florida 2012 CEO Ed Turanchik, stressing that his group has nothing to do with the pavilion.



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