OLYMPIC UTAH

Utah Committee for the Olympic Games makes final pitch to IOC

Nov 21, 2023, 7:45 PM | Updated: 7:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Fraser Bullock has remained stoic during the lead-up to the decision of the Olympics and Paralympics potentially returning Utah, until Tuesday afternoon.

“We have been preparing for years,” he said with a smile.

Bullock is the CEO of the Utah Committee for the Games in Salt Lake City.

Any city that attempts to host the Olympics must meet certain milestones to be considered.

At some point, once those milestones are met, the Utah Committee for the Games has to present its final pitch to the International Olympic Committee.

Just a few hours before our interview with Bullock, the committee presented its overall plan to the IOC’s Future Host Commission.

“It could not have gone any better and I loved every minute of it,” Bullock said. “I am happy that it went as good as it possibly could have gone.”

The plan is crucial. It ensures the city will be ready to host the amount of athletes, teams, vendors, and guests that will visit.

The Utah committee’s plan pitch included a view of the venues assigned to each sport, as well as hotel rooms, public support and infrastructure. It was also required to outline the federal, state, and city signed government guarantees.

The virtual presentation lasted about 45 minutes.

“Honestly, I do not think it could have gone better,”  Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said.

Governor Cox was in the meeting today and outlined to the IOC why Utah makes the perfect selection.

Salt Lake City’s presentation also included SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn, and 4-time Olympian Catherine Raney-Norman, who is also the chair of the Salt Lake City – Utah Committee for the Games.

“I am very proud of how our team presented our plan. It was exciting and it was a challenge to get to this point but I think we did very well,” said Raney-Norman.

Those in the meeting aren’t supposed to talk about how the IOC reacted to Salt Lake City’s pitch, but Governor Cox feels residents from Logan to St. George, Wendover to Vernal, would be delighted with the presentation to showcase and highlight what Utah has to offer.

“I am telling you, the people of Utah would have been very proud of Team Utah today. Team Utah knocked it out of the park, and I would be very surprised if we don’t have an Olympic award coming our way,” said Governor Cox.

Even with Tuesday being Election Day in Utah, Mayor Mendenhall took time out of campaigning to pitch her presentation to IOC members.

“This is putting us back on the map on a world-wide scale,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Our fingers are crossed. We can’t assume anything but there are very good things happening.”

 

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One of the biggest strengths of Salt Lake City’s pitch, according to Bullock, is public support for another Olympics.

Bullock says numbers from the committee’s latest poll shows 82% of Utahns favor having the Olympics and Paralympics come back to Salt Lake City.

With those kinds of numbers, Bullock says Utahns can be delighted with how the presentation went.

“The people of Utah can feel proud that we showed our very best because of the fact we have the support of the people — that we have the greatest people, in my opinion, on the Earth that are so welcoming and so kind. That is a key important element of delivering great Games and we have that,” said Bullock.

The next step is for the IOC’s Future Host Commission to make its recommendation of which city to advance to the IOC’s executive board.

That step is called targeted dialog.

An announcement on that recommendation is expected next week.

From there, the final step to winning an Olympic bid will go to the full IOC.

Cities in Sweden, France, and Switzerland are going for the 2030 Olympics, while Salt Lake City is the only city going for 2034.

A decision is expected to be made for the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympics this coming July, just before Opening Ceremony of the Paris Olympics.

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Utah Committee for the Olympic Games makes final pitch to IOC