WASHINGTON — Leadership of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has endorsed Salt Lake City’s bid to host another Winter Olympics, with a preference for 2034, officials said.
USOPC said 2034 is a more desirable date than 2030 due to the 2028 Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles. Utah’s scenic capital city previously hosted the Winter Games in 2002.
“There are not likely to be bids that look more attractive than the Salt Lake City, Utah bid for 2030 or 2034, but 2034 is the optimal time for the US to host a Winter Games,” USOPC Chair Gene Sykes told reporters on a call.
“So that’s what we’ve suggested to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is definitely our preference. We’re in a position to work with them on 2030 if they need us but they are also working very hard to develop an alternative bid for 2030.”
Sweden, Switzerland and France are among those vying to host in 2030.
“This is a significant milestone for us,” Fraser Bullock, CEO of the Salt Lake City’s bid committee, said on the call.
“We have a fantastic bid to offer the Olympic and Paralympic community. We have incredible venues in place, federal guarantees and strong community support including 82% of the public and 100% of our political leadership.”
Bullock said he hoped the IOC would be prepared to discuss the offer when officials meets in Mumbai next month.
The IOC has said it might award the 2030 and 2034 host cities simultaneously to create stability in the Winter Games, and that hosting rights may rotate “between a certain pool of cities and regions,” as it faces a shrinking pool of potential bidders.
Projects from Sweden, Switzerland and France are targeting Games to be staged in 2030 or later.
USOPC Chair Gene Sykes reiterated that Salt Lake City is aiming for 2034.
“We’re in a position to work with [the IOC] on 2030 if they need us,” Sykes said, adding “but they are also working very hard to develop an alternative bid for 2030 from a very credible host.”
The IOC is aiming for next year’s IOC Session scheduled alongside the Paris 2024 Olympics in July to elect the 2030 host.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will meet in Mumbai for its all members Session from October 15-17, and among the topics to be discussed could include the double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games next year, and the possible election of permanent host regions beyond.
An IOC Executive Board meeting agenda could invite one or more bids to ‘targeted dialogue’ in their pursuit to host in 2030, 2034 or both.
During targeted dialogue, an IOC Future Host Commission receives Candidature Files and prepares preferred bids for an election to host a specific edition of the Games.