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U.S., France take next step to hosting Winter Olympics, Paralympics

IOC members could vote in July on the French Alps hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and Salt Lake City hosting the 2034 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after approval from the IOC Executive Board on Wednesday.

“Both are highly experienced hosts of international sports competitions, which are seeking to build on the legacy of hosting past Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said IOC member Karl Stoss of Austria, the chair of the IOC Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games.

Last November, the French Alps and Salt Lake City bids were recommended for targeted dialogue with the IOC as preferred candidates to host the 2030 and 2034 Games, respectively.

After Wednesday’s IOC board approval, the next step for each is a virtual presentation and Q&A with IOC members on June 26.

If all requirements are met, IOC members are scheduled to vote on the French Alps and Salt Lake City bids on July 24 after in-person presentations at a session in Paris.

“This is a monumental step forward for us in our pursuit of the 2034 Games,” Salt Lake City 2034 President and CEO Fraser Bullock said.

The vote would be two days before the Paris Olympic Opening Ceremony. If both go through, the U.S. and France will combine to host four of the next six Olympics — Paris 2024, LA 2028, French Alps 2030 and Salt Lake City 2034.

Stoss said that a Games delivery guarantee is still needed from the French government. Plus a final confirmation of a public partnership contribution to the Games organization budget from two Olympic host regions and the French government.

Stoss said the IOC is “very confident” that both will get done before July 24.

“The French Alps 2030 project has committed to deliver all outstanding guarantees prior to the IOC session,” Stoss said. “Due to the current political situation in France, the documents could not be finalized before the (executive board) decision.”

Salt Lake City was the last U.S. host of the Winter Games in 2002 and plans to use many of the same venues.

“I think Salt Lake City would be ready to start the Olympic Winter Games tomorrow,” Stoss said.

In 2018, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chose Salt Lake City over Denver as its next Winter Games bid city. A Reno-Tahoe bid was in the early running before withdrawing.

France’s 2030 bid plans were announced last July and submitted to the IOC in early November. The main venue plan spreads across four hubs in Southeastern France near previous Winter Games hosts Chamonix (1924), Grenoble (1968) and Albertville (1992).

The next Winter Games are the Milan-Cortina Games in Italy in 2026.