SLC delegation will attend Beijing Games despite diplomatic boycott

SALT LAKE CITY — Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said on Monday that he will be attending the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, alongside committee chair Catherine Raney Norman and advisor Darren Hughes.

The group held a two-and-a-half-hour virtual meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday, the same day that the White House confirmed that the U.S. will stage a diplomatic boycott of the Games to protest Chinese human rights abuses.

“It was a very productive and positive call,” Raney Norman said at a press conference.

“It was a great interaction. And it really is the next step in our formative process towards an eventual bid,” Bullock said.

“Even though we have 40% more events than 2002, we can fit them all within our existing venues.”

He said a $76 million endowment from the 2002 Games has kept facilities up to date. While some small refurbishments would be required, “there is very little that is needed to be able to host the Games going forward.”

Another key strength of the Utah bid is that all events are located less than an hour from the athlete village at the University of Utah.

“There’s this new concept with the Olympics where it is a continuous dialogue of working collaboratively with the IOC, very different from the bidding processes of the past.”

He said the committee has received a lot of support from Governor Spencer Cox and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Regarding a question of the U.S. boycott, Bullock said his trip’s “focus is strictly on our Games.”

“We’ve got our heads down. We’re working very hard on that.

“And we know that things in the world come and go and we recognize that through all of that this is a long journey of either nine or 13 years. We just focus on our games and put our best foot forward in terms of what we can offer the world.”

Bullock ended the meeting by saying the committee assumes that the Games could be awarded at any time, despite the conventional seven-year timeframe. “So we are pressing full speed ahead in our preparations to be ready when that door could open, because we never know when it could open, it could open at any time.”

You May Also Like
TownLift Is Brought To You In Part By These Presenting Partners.

Add Your Organization