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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Salt Lake City Emerges As Winter Olympics Host Favorite

  • Salt Lake City appears to be in the lead for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
  • Sapporo's bid is on hold while Japan investigates a bribery scandal.
Olympic rings in front of mountains in the background
Angie Walton-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. could host the 2030 Winter Olympics by default after another bid was called into question.

Japan is pausing its promotion of Sapporo’s bid while it reevaluates its stance on hosting.

  • A bribery scandal related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were held in 2021 due to the pandemic, is causing Japan to question its appetite for hosting the Winter Games.
  • In August, a former member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics board, Haruyuki Takahashi, was arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes from Olympic sponsors.
  • Last month, Japanese police raided the offices of multiple advertising agencies as part of the investigation.

Japan may survey residents of Sapporo’s prefecture Hokkaido and possibly the entire country. A poll of Hokkaido residents from March found support for hosting between 52.2% and 65.5%, depending on how people were asked.

Speed skaters race against one another in Winter Olympic events

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Pass the Salt Lake

With Japan’s bid in doubt, Salt Lake City could end up as the last potential host standing. Vancouver was also looking to host, but its status is in doubt after its province, British Columbia, pulled its support for the bid.

Salt Lake City would prefer to host the Winter Olympics in 2034, to create more separation from the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, but could host in 2030.

The International Olympic Committee postponed the decision to 2024 to consider a number of factors, including how climate change impacts the hosting viability of certain locations and the possibility of having cities host on a rotating basis.

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