Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - Page 11 News List

US wants Winter Games, but must decide which one

AP, COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado

The US Olympic Committee (USOC) board is moving forward with discussions about hosting the Winter Games in the US for either 2026 or 2030.

As Los Angeles was recently awarded the 2028 Summer Games, a bid for 2030 would make more sense, chairman Larry Probst said on Friday after the USOC board’s quarterly meeting.

However, the USOC needs more information about the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) process for awarding the next Olympics. The 2026 Games are set to be awarded in 2019, but the IOC could decide to award the 2030 Games at that time as well, mirroring this year’s dual award of the 2024 Games to Paris and 2028 to Los Angeles.

If the IOC considers that possibility, “we’d want to be in that conversation, at the table for that discussion,” Probst said, which would mean 2026 would be in the mix.

Those expressing interest are Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada.

Asked what the perfect candidate city would offer, Probst said it would be one that “aligns best with Agenda 2020,” the IOC blueprint for future Olympics that calls for less billion-dollar projects and more venues already in place.

Salt Lake City is the last US city to host an Olympics — the 2002 Winter Games — and many of the venues built for those Olympics have been maintained.

Probst said he has taken recent comments from IOC president Thomas Bach about returning the Winter Games to “more traditional” sites as code for bringing them back to Europe or North America.

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