Will Australia’s ‘preferred’ status for 2032 Olympics affect Utah hopes?

SALT LAKE CITY – The leaders of the International Olympic Committee named Brisbane, Australia, the preferred offer for the 2032 Summer Games this week, but there was no talk of Salt Lake City or any other locations hosting the 2030 Winter Games.

“I would like to emphasize that this recommendation and this decision is not a decision against anyone,” said IOC President Thomas Bach during a virtual press conference that took place after the monthly meeting of the Executive Committee on Wednesday. “This is currently only a decision in favor of an interested party.”

Bach said there was no report of future Winter Olympics hosts.

Just because the IOC officials are already looking to the 2032 Olympics doesn’t mean they are behind in deciding on the upcoming Winter Games. Before the new, less formal selection process was recently introduced, the host cities were named seven years in advance.

What does that mean for Utah?

Fraser Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and president and CEO of Utah’s efforts to secure another Olympics, also helped put together the IOC’s new application process. He said “it is understandable” that the IOC would consider the next Summer Games to be awarded at that point.

“I think the reason is because Brisbane was moving very quickly, well ahead of the typical timeframe. You have made great strides and are moving to the next logical step, ”said Bullock. “The same will happen to Winter Commandments at some point.”

Currently, according to Bullock, the Utah bidders “continue to work actively with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees” to decide whether to continue with the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games, which are nine to 13 years away. The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, which has not met publicly since November, is working on budgets and other plans.

“We are making good progress in the detailed work on a future offering,” said Bullock.

Salt Lake City was selected more than two years ago by the US committee opposite Denver to bid on behalf of the nation for unspecified Winter Games. Last fall then-Gov. Gary Herbert, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, and the chairpersons of the Bid Committee officially wrote to Bach in a letter saying that they hope to welcome the world back.

Unlike Brisbane, which pledged to compete around 2032, Salt Lake City and the other cities that have expressed an interest in hosting the Winter Games are not ready to go that far.

All of these potential Winter Games host cities had previously hosted the Olympic Games: Salt Lake City, the 2002 Winter Games; Sapporo, Japan, the 1972 Winter Games; Vancouver, British Columbia, the 2010 Winter Olympics; and Barcelona, ​​Spain, the 1992 Summer Games.

Salt Lake needs the USOPC’s nod that the United States wants Winter Games, a decision made difficult by Los Angeles, where the 2028 Summer Games will take place, and wants no competition for domestic sponsorships.

The problem for Sapporo is that support for the Japan Olympics is lagging behind after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games were delayed until this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other potential hosts of the Winter Games have not yet received any significant bid support.

Effects of the new procedure for awarding bids

Even so, there’s no rush, said Ed Hula, founder and editor of Around the Rings, an Atlanta-based online Olympic news source with an international following. Hula said he expected the IOC to wait and see how the Tokyo Summer Olympics go before focusing on the Winter Games.

“Sapporo is well prepared and probably doesn’t need to do much to bring the Olympics back. And neither does Salt Lake City. So you can wait at least a few more years before making a decision. You have that luxury from the quality of the potential candidates, ”he said.

With a city no longer having a timetable showing interest in hosting the Olympics, and no set date for the IOC to select a host, Hula said that Olympic officials may want to give Vancouver and Barcelona time to to build support for their offerings make sure you have plenty of choice for future winter games.

It wasn’t long ago that the IOC Beijing awarded the 2022 Winter Games to Almaty in Kazakhstan after other rivals including Stockholm and Oslo were eliminated. Recently there have been calls to boycott Beijing, which also hosted the 2008 Summer Games, because of China’s human rights record.

“I think you’re still in a situation, especially with winter deals, winter cities, not that many options,” said Hula. The IOC set a precedent for awarding multiple Olympic Games at the same time when Paris received the 2024 Summer Games and Los Angeles the 2028 Summer Games.

Brisbane is the first city to make progress under the IOC’s new tendering process, launched in 2019, to make it easier and cheaper for cities to search for a game by cutting down on lobbying and paperwork in favor of ongoing discussions drops with a new future host committee.

Cities in a number of countries had looked at 2032, including Germany, Indonesia, China, Qatar and India. However, the IOC Executive Committee voted to initiate what is known as a “targeted dialogue” with Brisbane, based on the Australian city’s extensive plans for a country to host the Olympic Games largely using existing venues.

That said, if the commission is satisfied after further review, the entire IOC will be asked to name Brisbane as the host for 2032. When this could happen remains to be decided, said the chairwoman of the commission, Norwegian IOC member Kristin Kloster Aasen.

Brisbane’s advancement at this point is seen as helping to stabilize the Olympics, she said, “given the uncertainty the world is facing at this moment and is expected to continue,” even after the end of COVID-19 Pandemic. She said the new tender process allowed the IOC to “seize the opportunity”.

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