Thursday December 7, 2023

Salt Lake City Could Host Winter Olympics Every 20-30 Years

  • The International Olympic Committee is considering awarding the Winter Olympics on a rotating schedule.
  • Salt Lake City could host the Games every 20-30 years.
Speed skaters race against one another in Winter Olympic events
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
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The International Olympic Committee is facing the realities of a changing planet — and its conclusions could benefit a U.S. city.

The IOC is holding off on naming a host for the 2030 Winter Olympics as it takes time to consider how climate change will impact the Games in the coming decades.

  • The finalists for the Games are Salt Lake City and Sapporo, Japan. Vancouver is also a contender but faces an uphill battle after the province of British Columbia opted not to support the city’s bid.
  • The IOC could name hosts for both the 2030 and 2034 Games in 2024.
  • Salt Lake City would prefer to host in 2034 to provide more time to prepare and create separation from the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Officials at the Salt Lake City host committee have promised to shield taxpayers from the estimated $2.4 billion cost of hosting the Games.

Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in 2002, while Sapporo held them in 1976. Vancouver had them in 2010.

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Olympic Rotation?

The IOC is considering a radical change: With climate change shortening the list of viable Winter Olympics options, it could establish a rotating schedule. Both Salt Lake City and Sapporo could be among cities that host every 20-30 years.

The criteria for a regular host would include that the city maintain an average temperature at or below freezing. Salt Lake City organizers believe that they meet all hosting requirements through 2050.

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