The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee says it will work with the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games to work toward a potential 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid.
The USOPC board approved a resolution saying it will continue work on the feasibility of a 2030 bid during its meeting this week in the Utah destination, which hosted the 2002 Games. The SLC bid committee and USOPC have held multiple meetings with the International Olympic Committee and will continue those discussions, in coordination with the LA28 organizing committee.
“On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board resolved to formally recognize the tremendous progress made towards hosting the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, the strength of Utah’s vision, and the public support for this effort, and the Board approved a USOPC commitment to advance dialog in alignment with LA28 with the IOC and Future Host Commission towards hosting a future Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games as early as 2030,” the resolution reads.
“The vote of confidence by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee board in passing a resolution of support for our efforts to bring the Games back to Utah as early as 2030 is a vital next step for the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games,” said Fraser Bullock, president and chief executive officer of the committee. “We are fully prepared to bring the Games back to Utah as early 2030 and will continue to align with LA28 on what could be an extraordinary period for Olympic and Paralympic sport in America.”
No country has hosted back-to-back Games since Germany in 1936, making the process extremely complicated. The widely assumed favorites for 2030 are Sapporo, Japan, and Salt Lake City, although Vancouver has shown interest in preparing a combined bid with Whistler and four First Nations.
“We are making all efforts to look at the feasbility of 2030,” USOPC Board Chairman Susanne Lyons said. “We want to make sure we are aligned with our partners at LA28 … our hat is in the ring and if we can make it work for 2030, no one would be happier than us.”
Those conversations with the IOC will continue after the impending 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, of which USOPC Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hirshland said “we know will be unlike any other.” The USOPC expects approximately 300 athletes between the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be competing for Team USA.
The U.S. government will be one of several around the world that conducts a diplomatic boycott of the Games in Beijing and while some observers — even within the government — believe that there should be an athlete boycott as well, Lyons said “the Olympic and Paralympic opportunity is precious and it must be protected for those who have earned the right to represent their country,” maintaining the USOPC’s stance that athlete boycotts in the past have not proven to work on changing political atmospheres around the world.
The USOPC will also “provide the delegation with information and clarity both around the rules and the laws” of the IOC in organizing the Games and China as a country, Hirshland said, when it comes to athletes who want to comment or make a gesture in support of human rights within China, especially with the ongoing Peng Shuai saga.
“Clearly the laws in China are distinct and different than in the United States,” said Hirshland, adding the USOPC will spend most of January working on a series of educational sessions for the delegation and athletes as to what to expect once in China.
The USOPC does have a vaccination mandate for athletes and those going to Beijing as part of its official delegation. Hirshland said a booster mandate will not be in place because some of the delegation and athletes may still be within the initial timeframe of their innoculation cycle.