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Salt Lake City group, USOPC pen letters to IOC president on potential Olympic bid

2002 Winter Olympics

400804 57: (NEWSWEEK, U.S. NEWS, MACLEANS & GERMANY OUT) General view during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games at Rice Eccles Stadium February 8, 2002 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and a group looking to bring the Winter Games back to Salt Lake City sent letters to IOC president Thomas Bach last month, continuing dialogue that could lead to a formal bid for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2030 or 2034.

LETTERS: Salt Lake City group to Bach | USOPC to Bach | Bach to Salt Lake City group

“That was really a formal step, as far as we’re concerned, in an informal process in order to officially signal and convey our enthusiasm and our intent to host a future Winter Olympic Games,” said Cindy Crane, chair of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games. “We are ready when they are ready.”

USOPC leaders said in December 2018 that if they bid for the next available Winter Games in 2030, it will be with Salt Lake City, but it hasn’t announced an official bid. The Utah capital was the last U.S. host for the Winter Olympics in 2002. The U.S. hasn’t put forth a formal Winter Games bid since.

The Salt Lake City committee has not set a deadline to decide on a bid nor on if that bid would be for the 2030 Olympics or for a later Winter Games. The U.S. will host the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2028.

Last January, the IOC named Sapporo, Japan, Salt Lake City and Barcelona as interested potential 2030 bidders. Sapporo later became the first official bidder.

Host cities have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline.

The Salt Lake City committee held its second full meeting on Tuesday and its first since February. USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland joined the meeting by phone.

“The time will have to be right for all stakeholders, and we remain first and foremost committed to the success of the LA Games in 2028,” Hirshland and USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons wrote in an Oct. 30 letter to Bach. “Salt Lake City’s story stands as a testament to the power of the Games, as a model for legacy in action, and an example of the everlasting possibilities for host regions.”

The Salt Lake City group wrote in its letter to Bach that it has “political support at all levels” and an 80 percent public approval rating. It plans to send a small delegation to the IOC base of Lausanne, Switzerland, “sometime in the near future, when international travel resumes.”

Salt Lake City can offer a bid with 100 percent existing venues, thanks to continued use of sites from the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Crane said that Bach replied to the Salt Lake City group with a “very supportive” letter.

“We feel very good about a Games in 2030 or 2034, but we’re still doing our work,” Crane said Tuesday.

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