With the Summer Olympics coming to the United States in 2028 in Los Angeles, U.S Olympic officials believe Salt Lake City is better suited to host the 2034 Winter Olympics.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Chair Susanne Lyons told the Associated Press all signs point to 2034 and not 2030 for the Utah capital after recent meetings with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“If we have a preference, it would be better for us to do 2034,” Lyons said. “So I think in Salt Lake, the bid committee is realizing that we are in an absolutely fantastic position for 2034, but we may still be called upon for 2030.”
If that is the case, the competition to host the 2030 Winter Olympic is essentially down to two cities, Sapporo, Japan and Vancouver, Canada. Both have previously hosted the Winter Games.
As Los Angeles readies to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, their organizing committee takes over marketing duties for the entire U.S. Olympic movement. Lyons said reworking that arrangement for a Salt Lake City 2030 Games would be complicated.
The IOC has not held consecutive Games in the same country since Germany hosted both the 1936 Winter and Summer Olympics.
Lyons also said some IOC members were frustrated with criticism of China by American lawmakers in the leadup to this year’s Beijing 2022 Games. Several lawmakers called for the U.S. to boycott the Beijing Games due to China’s record on human rights. The U.S. did impose a “diplomatic boycott” of the Games, refusing to send any government officials to Beijing, as did several other countries as well.
“Calling in our sponsors to hearings in Washington was absolutely not helpful, and there are some hard feelings about that,” Lyons said.
Despite all that, Lyons was assured by IOC officials they know the strength of Salt Lake’s bid whether it’s 2030 or 2034.
“They said the bid was, technically, very tight,” she said.
The IOC could decide the host cities for 2030 and 2034 next year at the 140th IOC Session in Mumbai, India.