Games bid in state secures support of U.S. Olympic officials, but the year remains unanswered

The event in 2034 described as optimal as talks continue about possibilities for Utah

The Utah Olympic Park, shown in 2022, would be an important competition venue in a future Winter Olympics, as was the case during the Games of 2002. It is not clear whether the Games could return to the state in 2030 or 2034. | Park Record file photo by David Jackson
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

The key question about another Winter Olympics in the state remains unanswered: When may another Games occur?

The chair of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee on Thursday indicated it is unknown whether the event in 2030 or 2034 may be staged in Salt Lake City and the wider Olympic region.

There has been broad confidence that a second Winter Olympics will be awarded to Salt Lake City, but the year of another Games has been heavily debated without a resolution. It seems likely the event in 2030 or the one four years later are possible. That has been the case for several years, and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games and the International Olympic Committee are continuing to consider options.

During a Thursday media briefing, Gene Sykes, who chairs the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said a Games in 2034 is the “optimal time” for Salt Lake City. The capital city could stage the Games in 2030 if that year is selected, he said.

There are worries about a Games in Salt Lake City in 2030 competing with the fundraising efforts of the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028. The potential of an overlap in fundraising between two Olympic organizing committees in the United States has been one of the crucial issues for the Salt Lake City committee. It is not clear when the International Olympic Committee will elect the hosts of 2030 or 2034.

The board of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee this week effectively again endorsed the bid by the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, nearly five years after it selected Salt Lake City as the nation’s bid city for a Winter Olympics. It supported plans to provide the International Olympic Committee what is known as a Preferred Host submission, an important step in the selection process of Games locations.

“It’s all upside, honestly,” Sykes said about the Salt Lake City bid. 

The Park City area would have an outsized role in a second Games, as was the case during the Winter Olympics of 2002. Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park are identified as competition venues in the concept plans for another Games, as is Soldier Hollow in nearby Wasatch County. The lineup of competitions for each potential venue has not been set, though. The Park City area would also be expected to be important to the transportation, security and celebration planning for a Games, which was also what occurred 21 years ago.

Even as the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee have been engaging in discussions about a potential year, there has been ongoing work underway in Park City, Summit County and elsewhere in the region in anticipation of the possibility of an awarding of a Games. City Hall and the County Courthouse in 2022 held a series of events billed as community conversations that were designed to gauge the level or support for another Games in the community, gathering a range of opinions.


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