Vancouver 2030 Winter Olympic bid not supported by British Columbia government

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British Columbia is not supporting a Vancouver bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a province official said Thursday.

If that ends the bid, the 2030 Winter Games are down to two current candidates: Salt Lake City and Sapporo, Japan, with an IOC decision on the host expected next year.

“I know that the prospect of hosting these Games is exciting to athletes and sports fans,” Lisa Beare, British Columbia Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said in a statement. “However, the Province has the responsibility to weigh the benefits with the costs and possible risks of the project. There are billions of dollars in direct costs, and potential guarantee and indemnity liability risks on this project that could jeopardize our government’s ability to address pressures facing British Columbians right now. Based on careful consideration, the Province is declining to support a bid.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said in a statement that they “believe in the strengths” of the Indigenous-led bid process, are “taking time to process” the B.C. government announcement and will hold a news conference on Friday.

In 2020, the Vancouver City Council began exploring a bid to bring the Winter Olympics back to British Columbia after it hosted in 2010. Canada had not officially bid for a Summer Olympics or Winter Olympics since those Games.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The U.S. last hosted a Winter Games in 2002, when it was Salt Lake City. In 2018, the USOPC chose Salt Lake City as its potential bid city over Denver and Reno-Tahoe.

Sapporo, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972, was announced as a 2030 Winter Olympic bid city after withdrawing from the 2026 race in 2018.

Another bid from Spain was withdrawn in June.

Host cities have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline.

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Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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