USOPC is optimistic 2030 Winter Olympics will be in Salt Lake City

Leadership committee addresses Beijing 2022 diplomatic boycott, athlete safety amid COVID-19 policies and more

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U.S. Winter Olympic closing ceremony Ralph Lauren Polo uniforms are pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Winter Olympic closing ceremony Ralph Lauren Polo uniforms are pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) board of directors conducted its annual update in Salt Lake City on Friday, and addressed a wide range of topics in the lead up to the Beijing 2022 Games in February.

Earlier this week the committee reached a resolution on the Larry Nassar case with the ‘athletes survivors’ who endured the sexual abuse, and reiterated their stance of support, both financially, and with sweeping reforms in their governance structure.

The committee also resolved the Section 8 complaint against USA Gymnastics, a delegation under the threat of decertification. However with staff and board level restructuring, USA Gymnastics has begun the healing and transformation of the sport from their perspective.

In addressing the recent diplomatic boycotts of some G7 nations, the USOPC felt attendance must be kept separate from the outcome of controversy.

FILE PHOTO: Winter Olympics - Flame handover ceremony in Athens for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, Greece - October 19, 2021 The flags of China and the Olympics are seen being raised before the ceremony REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Winter Olympics - Flame handover ceremony in Athens for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, Greece - October 19, 2021 The flags of China and the Olympics are seen being raised before the ceremony REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons stated, “the focus should be on keeping a dialogue on the level of world leaders and government officials. The Olympic and Paralympic opportunity is precious and it really must be protected for those who have earned the right to compete and represent our country.”

“We believe we can be more effective as ambassadors of peace through sport than being players contributing to political division,” said Lyons.

The board unanimously endorsed a resolution to petition the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Dec 5, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Team United States races to a world record in the men’s team pursuit race during the ISU World Cup Long Track Speedskating competition at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Team United States races to a world record in the men’s team pursuit race during the ISU World Cup Long Track Speedskating competition at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

“We know that Salt Lake City offers a great opportunity for Winter Games that are athlete centric, spectator friendly, and environmentally conscious in a state (Utah) which overwhelmingly supports hosting the games and (we) have a plan that fits the long term goals of this state, and builds a legacy for global winter sports across the world,” said Lyons.

USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland concurred with Lyons.

“Successfully executing on back-to-back games will not be easy, but following on the success of Tokyo, I have immense faith in this team and community as we head to Beijing,” said Hirshland.

Regarding athlete safety concerning COVID-19 protocols and mandatory vaccinations, Hirshland said, “We have already encouraged many in our community to get the booster where its appropriate and encouraged and we will absolutely continue to do that, where its consistent with CDC guidelines.”

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Games are set to start February 4 and continue through February 20. The Paralympics are March 4-13, 2022.