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Salt Lake City 100 days away from learning 2034 Olympic fate

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The countdown is on for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games and when Salt Lake City learns whether or not its push for 2034 has been successful.

As of Wednesday, April 17, the Paris Games are 100 days away. The International Olympic Committee has previously said it would be announcing the locations for the upcoming 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic Games around that time.

Salt Lake City’s bid for the Olympics has been nothing short of enthusiastic. A study from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah found a high level of support among Utahns – a bolstering 82% in favor of being a two-time host.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in November it was the overwhelming support of Utahns that led to Salt Lake City being selected as a “preferred host” for the Games. He said it was difficult to get more than 80% of people to agree on anything but the Olympic Games is something everyone can agree on.

But Salt Lake City has always held on to its Olympic spirit.

Remnants and reminders of the 2002 Winter Games can be found throughout the Wasatch Front. The iconic Hoberman Arch, which was used as part of the Olympic Medals Plaza, emerged from history as a permanent art piece at the Salt Lake International Airport. Just outside Rice Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus sits the 2002 Olympic Cauldron and informative pieces on Salt Lake City’s time as host. The logo for the 2002 games can be found scattered throughout the city and many of the venues used during the games are still in active use today.

In fact, the Salt Lake City-UT Committee for the Games said the work toward hosting the Winter Olympics again has been more than a decade in the making. Over the years, the committee has put together a strategic plan, including venues, advertisers, and more planning to host either the 2030 or 2034 edition of the Winter Olympic Games.

The committee’s hard work began showing signs of paying off in September 2023 when the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) backed Salt Lake as a host for the upcoming Winter Games. A little over a month later, Salt Lake City was chosen as the preferred partner and invited to “targeted dialogue.”

Since then, the SLC-UT Committee for the games has shored up some details in their plan and completed a milestone step by presenting an outline to the International Olympic Committee. The completion of that step led to representatives from the IOC touring Utah.

Their findings? Salt Lake City is a “future role model” for hosting the Olympic Games.

The IOC representatives said they were blown away by Utah’s support for the games saying the spirit of the 2002 Games was still alive and well. The IOC also said Salt Lake’s Committee “undersold” the venues as they were reportedly better than the Utah Olympic Commission described them to be.

The promising visit from the IOC makes it appear as though Salt Lake City is all but guaranteed to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2034.

But we will know for sure in 100 days.

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