2034 more likely scenario for a bid in Salt Lake City

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Recent meetings with the IOC have led U.S. officials to believe all signs point to Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2034 Winter Olympics, though they say the capital of Utah will be ready if asked to host the 2030 Games, too.

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee President Susanne Lyons said she sees Salt Lake City as the leading candidate for the 2034 Olympics. She added that the complexity of hosting 2030 just two years after the Games Los Angeles summer makes that a less likely scenario.

“We’ll find that, but if we have a preference, it would be best for us to do 2034,” Lyons said in an interview with The Associated Press. “So I think in Salt Lake, the bid committee realizes that we’re in an absolutely fantastic position for 2034, but we can still be called for 2030.”

The LA Organizing Committee takes on the marketing duties for the entire US Olympic movement in the lead up to hosting the Games, so it would be difficult to rework some of the arrangements to account for back-to-back Olympics in the same country.

Lyons said some IOC members were frustrated with criticism of China by US lawmakers ahead of this year’s Beijing Games. Some of these lawmakers pointed to alleged human rights abuses in China when calling on the United States to boycott these games. The United States imposed a “diplomatic boycott” of the Games, refusing to send government officials to the Games.

Congress then held hearings on the matter.

“Calling our sponsors to hearings in Washington, DC, was totally unhelpful, and there are hard feelings about that,” Lyons said.

Still, Lyons said IOC officials told him they knew Salt Lake City, which hosted in 2002, could take on the role in 2030.

“They said the offer was, technically, very tight,” she said.

More clarity is expected to come later this year, with much of the decision based on input from other cities. Sapporo, Vancouver and Barcelona are among those known to be looking ahead to 2030.

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