Referendums, plebiscites not new to Olympics 

Several cities have used public ballots during the bid process to host an Olympic Games.

In 1970 Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Games. But concerns were raised by residents about the environmental and economic impacts.

The result was a referendum in 1972 calling for an amendment to state laws that prohibited certain expenditures made with state taxes.

It passed and technically made it impossible for Denver to host the Games.

With that result Denver’s organizing committee withdrew as Host City and Innsbruck, Austria was awarded the Games.

The Summer Games in Los Angeles in 1984 ran into a similar situation but the Games went ahead anyway.

In that case citizens said no city money could be spent on the Games so funds were raised through sponsors and other sources.

Last September, Bern, Switzerland withdrew as a candidate city for the 2010 Games.

The decision came after a referendum showed 78 per cent of voters in the state of Bern opposed a loan of $7 million Cdn to co-finance the national bid.

Opponents of Dusseldorf’s bid to become the German candidate for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games have sent a letter to the German Olympic Committee advising the bid committee of their intentions to hold a referendum on the bid.

They are against a decision by North-Rhine/Westphalia and the Rhine Ruhr to become private sponsors of Dusseldorf’s bid.

The group hopes to collect more than 13,000 signatures by April 20, although Dusseldorf’s mayor has said that such a vote would come too late because the German Olympic Committee’s decision on a German candidate is on April 12.

Calling the referendum "democracy" German Olympic Committee President Klaus Steinbach said the results of a referendum would not affect the German Olympic Committee’s decision.

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