Salt Lake City could become the de facto host for the 2030 Winter Olympics as Japan faces a bribery scandal linked to the Tokyo Games
- With Japan’s bid facing scandal, Salt Lake City could get the 2030 games
- Utah last held the Winter Games in 2002 and was the last U.S. Olympic host
- The IOC is also considering rolling out hosting duties for the Winter Olympics
- Both Salt Lake City and Sapporo could be part of that rotation group
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Salt Lake City, Utah could host its second-ever Winter Olympics after a bribery scandal halted the momentum of its main competitor.
Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido in Japan, was the only other city to make an official bid for the games to be held eight years from now.
However, Japanese police are investigating an allegation that a member of the Olympic Games board received bribes from Olympic sponsors.
Salt Lake City could become the de facto host for the upcoming 2030 Winter Olympics
This is because a bribery scandal has forced Sapporo, Japan to stop advertising its 2030 bid
That has led the City of Sapporo to “pause” the active promotion of their bid “for a while” as the situation blows over.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was also considering hosting the games for a second time – having previously done so in 2010. However, the province of British Columbia has withdrawn its support for the offer.
Another bid was considered to be jointly hosted in the Pyrenees by the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Zaragoza. However, a political dispute between the autonomous communities of Catalonia (where Barcelona is located) and Aragon (where Zaragoza is located) led them to withdraw the offer in June.
Other potential bids from Almaty, Kazakhstan, Borjomi, Georgia, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Savioe, France have yielded nothing official.
Salt Lake City previously hosted the games in 2002 – and was the last US site to host
This leaves Salt Lake City as the only available active bid for these 2030 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake City was the last U.S. city to host the Winter Olympics, in 2002.
Reports from FrontOfficeSports say SLC would prefer to host the games in 2034, to provide a buffer between the 2028 Summer Olympics to be held in Los Angeles.
The United States has hosted the Olympic Games eight times. That includes four editions of the summer games in St. Louis in 1904, Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984, and Atlanta in 1996.
America has also hosted the Winter Olympics four times – twice in Lake Placid in 1932 and 1980, once in the Lake Tahoe area in 1960, and in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Salt Lake City is also being considered as a possible substitution site for future winter games
The International Olympic Committee is also considering rotating the venues for the winter games as climate change drastically reduces the number of venues available. Criteria would likely be that the city maintains an average winter temperature at or below freezing. Salt Lake City and Sapporo would meet these requirements.
Other cities that currently meet those temperature criteria that have previously hosted a Winter Olympics include: St. Moritz, Switzerland; Lake Placid, New York, United States; Oslo, Norway; Cortina d’Ampezzo, Belluno, Italy; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Lillehammer, Norway; and Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Rotating venues would follow a similar trend seen in golf majors. The Open Championship rotates regularly between several links courses in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Similarly, the USGA announced that the US Open will be held at a series of “anchor sites” for years to come.
The next edition of the Winter Olympics will take place in 2026, co-hosted by the Italian cities of Cortina-d’Ampezzo and Milan.