The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has given a “firm endorsement” of Salt Lake City’s bid to stage an upcoming Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, ideally in 2030 or 2034.

The endorsement comes after the Salt Lake City-Utah Bid Committee presented its plans at the USOPC board of directors meeting yesterday (September 14), with the committee’s chairman stating while it aims to host the 2034 edition, it would be prepared to stage the 2030 edition if required.  

After the meeting, USOPC chair Gene Sykes said it is hoped it can enter the next stage of ‘targeted dialogue’ with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) shortly.

Targeted dialogue marks the second phase of the IOC’s new bidding process, where the relevant city or country can finalize its project with the executive board before approval at the session.

Sykes said: “The board was pleased to hear from them and to give our firm endorsement of the candidature filed that will be shared with the IOC once the Utah project is invited into targeted dialogue with the IOC.

“We don't know when that will happen precisely or the exact process for when a host decision will be made, but our hope is that the work of the Utah team and their incredibly detailed and thoughtful plan with great public support will be rewarded by the IOC in short order.

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“After this discussion by our board and on a motion duly made and seconded, the board resolved that it fully endorses and supports the Salt Lake City-Utah Bid Committee's intention to offer to the IOC a formal preferred host submission.”

The IOC delayed plans to award the 2030 edition of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics at next month’s session in Mumbai, India after issues surrounding proposals from Japan’s Sapporo and Canada’s Vancouver surfaced.

France, Sweden, and Switzerland have since come out as possible candidates for the 2030 games, as well as future editions.

The IOC is aiming for next year’s IOC session scheduled alongside the Paris 2024 Olympics in July to elect a 2030 host.

While the US has said it is prepared to take on the 2030 edition, its preference is to host the 2034 games to space out its duties after staging the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

Addressing the timing, Sykes said: “We're watching this very carefully, and talking quite a bit to the IOC and everybody else we know to measure how far these other potential opportunities have advanced, and certainly there is more talk about them than the last time we spoke with you.

“There are not likely to be bids that look more attractive than the Salt Lake City-Utah bid for 2030 or 2034, but 2034 is the optimal time for the United States to host a Winter Games, so that is what we've suggested to the IOC is definitely our preference.

“We're in a position to work with them on 2030 if they need us but they are also working very hard to develop an alternative bid for 2030 from a very credible host.”