PARK CITY, Utah — A three-person delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has joined a three-person delegation from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and are touring around Northern Utah to check on the status-of-sport as it relates to potentially hosting another Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Frasier Bullock and Colin Hilton, Salt Lake Committee members for 2002 and 2030, are hosting, and Carl Roepke, nine-time Olympics announcer, is guiding the group to and through more than a dozen different venues. Most were utilized in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics with a nonprofit organization and a government agency sprinkled in. They got their first look, as they drove by on I-40 between having lunch on Main St., Park City and Midway, at Mayflower Mountain and contemplated putting the ski area, which is under construction, on a list of useable venues. Another new addition they’re seeing is the Salt Lake City International Airport with its extensively expanded facilities including its public ground transportation.
Their travels include meeting with Mayor Mendenhall of Salt Lake City and lunching with Park City local and Olympic Champion, alpine skier Ted Ligety.
The group’s van visits the venues, small groups of the highest-ranking executives and managers who are in town during this off-season meet, and greet them with open arms, and give short presentations as to the highlights of hosting events there. During their four-day stay, they drive from Salt Lake City to Park City, Provo, and Ogden. They are finding, not surprisingly to them, that the venues built for the 2002 Games are not only surviving but are thriving.
No major decisions or announcements are on the docket this trip, keeping in mind that the USOPC has said, in the past, that if indeed, the IOC awards a winter Olympic bid to the United States, the Host City will be Salt Lake City. Cities in the 2030 bid process also include; Sapporo, Japan, Barcelona, Spain and Vancouver, Canada.
The National Ability Center Executive Director, Dan Glasser told me this winter, “I couldn’t be more supportive of the efforts for securing the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic bid.”
The IOC members were treated to a bonus observation of elite sports in the Utah community when the Jazz NBA Playoff Game Six was hosted right near their Downtown Salt Lake hotel.
The Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee would love to host a Games in 2030, however, with the understanding that the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympic Games are coming as well, they’d be happy to host a more spread-out 2034 Games. Polls have shown that not only would the Bid Committee be happy but the majority of Utahns would be overwhelmingly supportive too.
Beijing had held an Olympics for 2008 then was awarded the Olympics again for 2022. Italy had held an Olympics in 2006 then was awarded the Olympics again for 2026. Australia had held an Olympics for 2000 then was awarded an Olympics again for 2032. An announcement from the IOC regarding the 2030 bid is expected in the spring of 2023.