Sun, Dec 16, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Salt Lake City chosen for possible 2030 Games bid


Salt Lake City, Utah, has been selected by the US Olympic Committee (USOC) for a potential bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics.

The USOC board of directors has expressed interest in bidding for future Winter Games, but has not determined when a formal bid might be submitted, the USOC said in a statement on Friday.

Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, was preferred over Denver, Colorado.

“We are truly humbled and honored to be the USOC’s choice to bid for a future Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said.

Salt Lake City gave the US the best chance to bring the Winter Olympics to the country for the fifth time, USOC president Larry Probst said.

USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a conference call following the board meeting that the decision to identify Salt Lake as the candidate city would give any bid the best chance of success.

“It’s worth noting there is no 2030 bid process open with the IOC [International Olympic Committee] at this stage, but work we will do is to continue to refine the possibility, refine the plan for a possible bid, but at this point there is no determination, nor is there an active process for bidding that will take place,” Hirshland said.

“So we have the luxury of some time to ensure with have a very thoughtful plan and collaborative approach,” she said.

“There is incredible support from the community at large,” she said of Utah’s most populous city.

“They have some very unique advantages and certainly the venues and the existence of those venues and the proximity of those venues is one of those advantages,” she added.

US Ski & Snowboard welcomed the decision.

“The possibility of having a future Olympic Winter Games in the USA is incredibly exciting,” chief executive Tiger Shaw said. “Colorado and Utah have created many of the world’s best athletes in our sports and both have been very supportive in hosting world class events.”

The decision came as the IOC has seen interest in hosting Olympic Games fall dramatically, as the size and cost of staging the multisport event has skyrocketed.

Residents in Calgary, Alberta, have resoundingly voted against the western Canadian city’s plan to bid for the 2026 Games.

The vote left Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo as the only candidates left in that race.

Sion, Switzerland; Sapporo, Japan; and Graz, Austria, all withdrew earlier this year, while Erzurum, Turkey, was eliminated from the bidding process by the IOC, which is to elect the winning bid in June next year.

With Asia hosting back-to-back Games after Pyeongchang, South Korea, this year and Beijing in 2022, and Europe likely to host the 2026 gathering, any bid from the US for the 2030 Winter Olympics would be a strong favorite.

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