Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid moves ahead with IOC meetings

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A Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid will be the subject of meetings with the IOC in Utah in April and at the IOC base of Switzerland in June, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Salt Lake City is among the candidates to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics and is in a dialogue phase with the IOC, as are at least Sapporo, Japan, and Vancouver. The chair of the IOC Future Host Commission for Winter Games also said two years ago that Spain was interested in a potential Winter Olympic bid involving Barcelona and the Pyrenees.

“We would expect by the end of this year, [the candidate process] should be evolving, at least who the leading contenders are,” USOPC chair Susanne Lyons said Monday. “And we certainly hope and expect that Salt Lake City will be among them.”

Host cities have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games — which would mean 2023 for the 2030 Olympics — though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline.

The 2024, 2028 and 2032 Summer Games were not chosen the traditional way, but the 2026 Winter Games were awarded to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2019 in an IOC members vote.

“We don’t expect any decision to be made by the IOC until their general session, which will be next summer,” Lyons said.

In April, IOC technical committee members will visit Utah to look at the Salt Lake City technical plan and facilities. The Salt Lake City plan has called for using 100 percent existing venues, thanks in large part to hosting the 2002 Winter Games, the last time that the U.S. put forth a Winter Olympic bid.

In June, Lyons, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and Salt Lake City organizers will travel to Switzerland for what Lyons called “a more robust presentation of the meat and bones” of the bid, “which is in very, very good shape,” she said.

In December 2018, the USOPC chose Salt Lake City over Denver for a potential Winter Olympic bid. Entering the IOC dialogue phase more than two years ago showed the USOPC’s commitment to pursuing the city’s candidature.

If successful, the U.S. could host consecutive Olympics, given the 2028 Summer Games were awarded to Los Angeles. No nation has hosted back-to-back Olympics since World War II.

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