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Local Olympians highlight IOC’s visit to Park City

The International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission for the Winter Olympic Games is expected to make a recommendation about Salt Lake City’s 2034 bid next month

PARK CITY, Utah — Members of the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission for the Winter Olympic Games were in Park City on Thursday, touring the still-operational facilities at the UOP and Park City Mountain Resort. 

The visit was part of a four-day tour alongside State and local officials to show that Utah is ready and eager to host the world again for another Winter Games in 2034. After their tour, the Future Host Commission will submit a report to IOC leaders, who will then decide whether to send the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games’ bid for a final vote. 

In addition to local officials and state leaders, a handful of local Olympians were on-hand to tell the IOC commission that our facilities would not only be ready for a 2034 Games, but they are also being used by active youth programs and national and international competitions today. 

Utah’s existing infrastructure and Olympic venues — Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah Transit Authority’s TRAX line, Utah Olympic Park, Park City Mountain Resort, Snowbasin, Soldier Hollow, and the Olympic Oval in Kearns — is one of the state’s biggest selling points to host another Olympics. 

Valerie Fleming, who won a silver medal in the 2006 Olympic Games in women’s bobsled and is the current Program Manager for bobsled and skeleton at the UOP, spoke to members of the committee at the women’s luge start at the UOP’s sliding track.

2006 Olympic silver medalist, Valerie Fleming, speaks to IOC members at the UOP on April 11, 2024. Photo: TownLift

“When I was an athlete, I thought that the track was only being used for the national team and public rides, but actually its main use is for our youth programs. We have developing athletes using the track five days a week for 10 weeks in the winter,” Fleming said.

Ted Ligety, Park City’s double gold medalist who competed in alpine skiing in four Olympic Winter Games, also took part in the tour on Thursday.

Ligety, who came up through the Park City Ski and Snowboard Club, was the first athlete to be born and raised in Park City, compete here through his youth and go on to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 2006. Since then, a Park City athlete has won a gold medal at every Winter Olympics. 

Ted Ligety greets Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, at the UOP on April 11, 2024. Photo: TownLift

Ligety is on the strategic committee to get the games back in 2034.

“I’m involved because I see it as such an important and beneficial thing that happened in my life, and hugely transformative for the youth in the area,” he told TownLift.

The IOC’s Future Host Commission will be in Utah through Saturday.

“We have a very good feeling,” Austrian IOC member Karl Stoss, who is also chairman of the Future Host Commission, told reporters. He said now the commission will take a close look as it analyzes the Salt Lake City bid, but he added that Utah is on a “very, very good” track. 

Next month the group will make a recommendation about Salt Lake City’s 2034 Winter Games bid.

Utah’s organizing committee expects the award to be finalized July 24, Utah’s Pioneer Day. 

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