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Salt Lake City sizing up bid for 2030 Winter Olympics

AFP logo AFP 12/17/2021 AFP
The opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics which was also hosted by Salt Lake City © Roberto SCHMIDT The opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics which was also hosted by Salt Lake City

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said Friday that they have made "tremendous progress" toward hosting the Winter Games in Salt Lake City as early as 2030.

USOPC chief executive Susanne Lyons said on a conference call after the body's board meeting in the Utah city that officials are "deeply in the first and second phases" of the International Olympic Committee's bid process, which calls for expression of interest and continuing dialogue.

The USOPC selected Salt Lake City, which hosted the Winter Games in 2002, as a potential bid city back in 2018, but which year it might stage the Games remained up in the air.

Lyons said officials are still studying whether it would be feasible to host a 2030 Games less than 24 months after Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Summer Olympics.

"This will be the first time any country has tried to put on Olympics back-to-back," she said. "If we can make it work for 2030 I'm sure we couldn't be happier."

While the decision to go forward with a Salt Lake bid for 2030 would rest with the USOPC, Lyons said that LA 2028 was a "valued partner" in the process as officials assess the potential impact on both events if they are held so close together.

"We are probably in contact with both Salt Lake City and LA 28 every day, multiple times a day," Lyons said.

Although Los Angeles' main obligation is to "ensure delivery of a fantastic Games in 2028" she said organizers there "are very much willing to work with us … so that we are in position to host both of the Games."

The current IOC bid process gives no specific timeline for selection of future host cities. Instead potential hosts engage the IOC in increasingly specific dialogue until a suitable venue is selected.

Other potential hosts for 2030 include Sapporo, Japan, and Vancouver, Canada.

Sapporo hosted the Winter Games in 1972 and also hosted the marathon and race walk events for this year's Tokyo Games. Vancouver hosted the Winter Games in 2010.

Should they determine that pressing a Salt Lake City bid for 2030 isn't feasible, the USOPC could instead target 2034.

bb/bsp 

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