For the Record: Could Salt Lake have won the 2026 Winter Games bid? |

For the Record: Could Salt Lake have won the 2026 Winter Games bid?

Composite image.
Christopher Samuels/Park Record

Each week, The Park Record asks For the Record, encouraging residents and visitors to weigh in on a topic of interest. This week, the International Olympic Committee selected the northern Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. Salt Lake City and the surrounding area has long been involved in future Olympic discussion, though the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee pushed Salt Lake’s potential bid to 2030 or later when it chose the region as the U.S. bid city for a future Winter Games.

People involved in the Salt Lake City effort have long said the Olympic region of Utah is prepared to host another Games and see the bid as competitive against any other that could be seeking an Olympics. We wanted to know how the public thought a theoretical Salt Lake 2026 bid would have stood up in this most recent IOC vote. Comment with your own answer below, or consider sending a letter to the editor.

Dustin Howard, Park City
I’m entirely biased, I think we absolutely should have had it. But (2026) is relatively close from 2002 so we could give other countries a chance. I do feel strongly biased for places with good mountains so that’s reasonable to have it (in Milan).

Lisa Koloski, Kimball Junction
Between the two (2026 candidates)? Yeah! Milan is in northern Italy and I think (Salt Lake City) would be way more supported and people coming and traveling. I totally think Salt Lake would have had a good chance.

Walt Orzepowski, Heber City
I think so. I think the last few Olympics have been a disaster because the places didn’t have the infrastructure to handle it. I think Salt Lake did a wonderful job and there’s even more infrastructure here now to make it an easy go.

Mary Lou Kohout, Park Meadows
I was here for the 2002 Olympics and Paralympics as a volunteer. I think we’re very blessed, we have all the infrastructure in Salt Lake and here, we have the ‘pillows’ as they say, I think we’re very lucky and could have it.

Quotations have been edited for clarity and length.

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