This post was authored by Christian Salcedo and Paul Beshouri
As the Winter Olympics fire up in Sochi, it's worth remembering that Detroit was once an aspiring Olympic host. "Aspiring" might even be an undersell. Detroit's bid for the '68 games was its sixth olympic bid, and it was almost assumed Detroit would finally win the games. Detroit lost the games to Mexico City, falling short by several votes.
This story tends to pop up on local news channels every few years, but we wanted to figure out the details. If Detroit was really that close, there must have been a plan. A plan for stadiums, transit, and housing—all the stuff Sochi is struggling with. As it turns out, there was. Deep inside the Burton Collection at the Detroit Public Library, the city's original proposal to host the games is still intact, wax seal and all. Behold: Detroit's 1968 Olympics, the games that never happened.