Sports

Lindsey Vonn joins Utah Olympic delegation to lobby for 2030 Games

PARK CITY, Utah. — As a group of officials continues to try and bring the Winter Olympic Games back to the state of Utah, they’ve enlisted the help of former Olympic alpine skier and gold medalist Lindsey Vonn in preparation for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland later this month.

“They’ll be paying a lot more attention to her than they will to us,” Fraser Bullock, the president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Alongside the most decorated female skier in history, the committee is scheduled to meet with IOC members from June 14-16. In addition to members of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the group will be attempting to convince the IOC to designate Utah as the host of the 2030 Winter Games instead of cities like Sapporo, Japan, or Vancouver, Canada.

Expectations are that the IOC will narrow down the potential host cities to one or two by their meeting in early December. They will then announce the official host of 2030, and potentially 2034, at their general session in Mumbai from May 31 to June 1, 2023.

In addition to the many outstanding benefits and positives that Salt Lake City boasts in terms of being a potential host city, having a well-known former Olympian and current Park City resident can only increase the chances to seal the deal.

“The best part of my role is when I get to call the athletes and ask them to be a part [of the Olympic bid process]”, Raney-Norman, the SLC-Utah committee’s chair and a four-time Olympic speed skater told the Salt Lake Tribune. “And she was instantaneously, ‘Absolutely! How can I be involved? This is something I’m passionate about.’

“And so just to have her as a part of this effort is amazing, right? And for her to be championing what we’re trying to do and to make time in her schedule to come with us. I think she’s going to share an incredibly unique experience as an athlete, as a global leader in sport, as a champion of mental health. And I think it’s going to be a huge thing,” Raney-Norman continued.

While still roughly eight years away, Bullock and the rest of the committee hope that the bid will be granted as Salt Lake 2002 was one of the most successful Olympic Games in terms of revenue. Not only did they report a much larger profit than Vancouver 2010, but as one of two cities to still use 100% of their remaining facilities.

So along with those facts and the help of an Olympic celebrity like Vonn, Bullock hopes to secure the 2030 or 2034 games in Salt Lake City.

“With Lindsey Vonn, [she’s] the most successful female competitive skier in history and she’s well known and well respected,” Bullock told the Salt Lake Tribune. “And so her voice carries weight, and it’s important. And the fact that she’s willing to take the time to go with us and spend time advocating for us shows that she believes that Salt Lake would be a great host.”

A decision over the 2030 Games is expected during the IOC general session in Mumbai on May 31 – June 1, 2023.

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