The French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah, top candidates for the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games

The two venues are the only ones that went to the stage of “specific dialogues”, although the final announcement will only be officially announced next year at the 142nd Session of the IOC.

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This will be the second time that the city of Salt Lake, Utah will host an Olympic Winter Game, previously held in 2002. 
Credit. @GovCox
This will be the second time that the city of Salt Lake, Utah will host an Olympic Winter Game, previously held in 2002. Credit. @GovCox

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that The French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah are the main candidates to host the 2030 and 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Games, respectively.

In addition, the IOC gave until 2027 for Switzerland to expand its project thinking of hosting the 2038 Winter Games and explained that during this “Privileged Dialogue” it will not talk to other National Committees. Meanwhile, the only candidate that was ruled out of those that were submitted was that of Sweden (Sapporo had already been dropped).

The French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) were invited by the IOC Executive Board (EB) to participate in “specific dialogues” to organize the Games. In this way, they are the great candidates to organize the 2030 and 2034 Games, although the official announcement will be made at the 142nd Session of the IOC, in July of next year and in Paris, before the start of the next Olympic Games.

France had two cons in theory: the proximity to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and that The Alps will also be the scene of the Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo 2026 Winter Games. However, the joint Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur bid seduced the IOC because it doesn’t need large investment, it has local support and the country has extensive experience in this type of competition: it will be -if confirmed- the fourth time that France has organized a Winter Games after Chamonix 1924, Grenoble 1968 and Albertville 1992.

Haute-Savoie, Savoy, Briançon and the mountains of Nice would be the settings for The 2030 Games, which will use some of the best-known winter seasons such as Courchevel, Méribel, Val d’Isère, Le Grand Bornand, La Clusaz, Serre-Chevalier and Montgenèvre. Meanwhile, Nice will also host skating events, hockey and figure skating.

Salt Lake City-Utah, on the other hand, also seemed to be against the fact that Los Angeles will host the Summer Games in 2028, but the IOC argued its decision in “the vision of taking advantage of the positive legacies of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics”, which also does not “require significant capital investment” and that “with all the competition venues less than an hour from the main Olympic Village in Salt Lake City, it offers a unique opportunity for an exceptional experience for athletes”.

The IOC also said that the application has strong support from the public and local authorities, and explained that “taking into account the studies commissioned on the potential impact of climate change on winter sports, Salt Lake City-Utah offers the opportunity to ensure a traditional and climatically reliable winter sports destination long before the Games.”

“The members of the Commission were deeply impressed by the technical excellence of all the projects, the passion for winter Olympic sports and the commitment to the principles of sustainability of the 2020+5 Olympic Agenda,” said Karl Stoss, member of the IOC and president of the future Host Commission of the Winter Olympic Games.

Stoss acknowledged about the designations that “what really stood out about the projects in the French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah was their vision of the athlete’s experience, their alignment with regional and national socioeconomic development plans, and their strong support from the public and all levels of government.” And he said that Switzerland 203x (that’s the name of the project presented) “has great potential, with its project aligned with the 2020+5 Olympic Agenda and the principles of sustainability, cost reduction, environmental protection and legacy”.