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Utah may be considered for 2030, 2034 winter Olympic Games

Dec 7, 2022, 2:12 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 6:01 pm

PARK CITY, UTAH – The International Olympic Committee wrapped up three days of meetings on Wednesday. During that time, they discussed everything from rotating the Olympic Games within a pool of host cities to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

 

Of all the questions still on the table, the IOC said they are looking into several factors, such as climate change as well as former hosts and their existing facilities to help them determine whether the Olympic Games returns to a certain place. 

 

That includes whether there will be a return of the Olympic Games to Utah.

 

Fireworks light up the night sky during the Closing Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium.

Fireworks light up the night sky during the Closing Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium February 24, 2002 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

 

Utah’s leadership for the Olympic Games said if they got the call today, they are ready to host. 

 

For those hopeful of getting an answer one way or another; whether the Olympics will return to Utah during 2030 or 2034, the only games confirmed so far is the waiting game. 

 

First, a decision will need to be made on what may be a dual award for both 2030 and 2034 before any definite answers come down on whether the Winter Games will rotate among a limited number of cities.

 

IOC President Thomas Bach said by a double award, there would be less of a rush, which would allow more time to establish a solid rotating system. 

 

“I think it would be too late in 2026 even… Four years, even if you have extremely well-prepared cities and regions… four years I think is pretty, pretty short,” said Bach.

 

Fraser Bullock, President and CEO Salt Lake City – Utah Committee for the Games, said whenever the green light is given, Utah will be ready to go.

 

“We’ve really never stopped our preparation since ‘02… We have all of the facilities, venues in place. They’re active, they’re world class, and we can use them at any time to host games in the future,” said Bullock. 

 

A skier is in the air at a ski jump from the 2002 Winter Games in Park City, Utah.

Emily Cook, a member of the US Olympic Aerial Ski Team, jumping at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. This is where the aerial ski jumpers practice their jumping skills by landing in a pool during the summer months. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

Climate change is also a concern. 

 

The IOC’s Future Host Commission said more time was needed to study the impact of climate change, and in return, the reliability of a host over the years to come. 

 

Bullock said Utah stacks up well against the thermostat.

 

“They’re looking at the minimum temperatures over a 10-year forecast, and we’ve already done some preliminary work on that. We show very favorably,” said Bullock. 

 

 The IOC also addressed the Russian-Ukrainian War.

 

The IOC’s placed sanctions on Russia still stand. However, athletes, so long as they do not get themselves tangled with politics, do not fall under that umbrella. 

 

The hope is that politics aside, the games stay the Olympic Games.

 

As for how Utah stands, in Park City, for instance, former facilities used in the Games are still being used today. 

 

From the outside, that may help put Utah in good standing for future Olympic Games.

 

The IOC said they will meet again in the new year. 

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Utah may be considered for 2030, 2034 winter Olympic Games