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Duluth: an Olympic hopeful?

National flags fly ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 8, 2018. (Jean Chung / Bloomberg)

Duluth's Olympic aspirations don't seem to have been rekindled by comments National Public Radio commentator Scott Simon made on his show, "Weekend Edition," on Saturday. In fact, Duluth City Council President Noah Hobbs went out of his way Monday night to state that he wouldn't support another Olympic bid akin to the pitch the city actually made to host the 1932 games.

It seems that few cities are eager to serve as the venue for the prestigious sporting event these days, given all the costs associated with accommodating the competition and the large but fleeting international crowd it draws.

Simon made light of the situation this weekend saying: "Hey, anybody here want to host the 2026 Winter Olympics? Hey there Duluth, you hear us? Are you just going to stand there with your hands in your pockets?"

It was a different story a mere 96 years ago, when the city of Duluth indeed submitted a formal application seeking to host the 1932 Winter Olympic Games. That bid fell short, with Lake Placid, N.Y., prevailing. The rest is, as they say, history.

In the intervening years, much of the shine seems to have worn off the Olympics noted ESPN's Howard Bryant in a guest segment appearance with Simon.

"The allure of hosting the Olympics is not what it used to be," Bryant said. "The money is as severe as it's been before — as it's ever been — in terms of the cost."

Besides the financial obstacles that would confront another Olympic bid by Duluth, the city also obviously lacks the sort of mountainous terrain needed to host a modern Olympic games.

Back in the early 1930s, when Duluth was vying for the international winter competition, alpine skiing wasn't part of the mix. It wasn't until 1936 that downhill skiing was added to the winter games lineup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. But those popular alpine events and others, including snowboarding, now are ingrained deeply in the competition, pushing Duluth to the Olympic sidelines, probably forever.