KEARNS, Utah. — Like-minded individuals met yesterday at the Utah Olympic Oval to discuss the status of Salt Lake City hosting another, not-so-distant-future, Winter Olympic Games concluding that it’s status quo. Remaining active and engaged in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bid process as it behooves Utahns is the prevailing idea.
It will be the sixth bid to host the Olympics for Salt Lake City.
The venue for yesterday’s meeting which confirmed that the Bid is, indeed, alive and kicking, is a primo example of the in-tact infrastructure legacy of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Games. Updated and upgraded air and ground transportation join the long list of places ready, willing and able to host again, places like Deer Valley, The Maverik Center, Snowbasin, Rice-Eccles Stadium, Park City Mountain, not to mention the up-to-the-minute relevancy of the Vivint Arena just to name a few.
KSL-TV Sportswriter Alex Cabrero reminded viewers that since Los Angeles has already been awarded the Summer Olympic Games in 2028 by the IOC, history dictates that chances are less likely that Salt Lake City would be awarded back-to-back national Games in 2030. Therefore, here in Utah, 2034 is also on the docket. Japan, Canada and Spain have their eye on the prize to become Bid Cities within the same timeframe as well.
The familiar names of Frasier Bullock, former COO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and Parkite Chris Waddell, thirteen-time Paralympic medal winner, were among the people in attendance yesterday.
Keeping close tabs and fingers crossed for a repeat performance of a Utah Olympic Games are two other Park City residents whose professional contributions were instrumental in 2002 and beyond, venue producer Kris Severson and venue announcer Carl Roepke. The two have worked at a combined total of more than a baker’s dozen Games including Summer, Winter, Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth-Olympic Games.
In discussions revolving around the fact that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are prohibited for international spectators, talks between the two turn to collateral industry restrictions. For many Park City residents, not unlike Olympic commentator Trace Worthington and Olympic health/safety administrator Chris Crowly, having the opportunity to work in Tokyo would have likely been a welcome one. Severson and Roepke concur.
Severson said, “Helping any nation put on their Olympic Games is rewarding for all stakeholders because it’s their vision and their message and I simply get to lend my skills ultimately creating and endeavoring one of the broadest-reaching peaceful gatherings in the world for the sake of sport. Past Games have unfortunately experienced political reasons for disruption, however, the Tokyo organizers seem to be attempting to put one foot in front of the other in dealing with this tragic natural disruption and I wish them nothing but the best. Of the utmost importance is that the athletes get to compete with the high-performance training they’ve worked so tirelessly to achieve.”
When Roepke and Severson were asked if, perhaps, in light of current global circumstances, there may be some value for them in watching the Tokyo Games from stateside this time, they replied in unison, “No.” They both enjoy the ride.