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Salt Lake City To Bid For Winter Olympic Games - Report


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I think this is, sadly, not beyond the realm of possibility. If the field for 2026 is weak, and the US loses out on a 2024 Summer bid (to Europe?) then SLC might have an edge over tainted Denver as it can seriously pull the London-style legacy card. It has the venues in place. What better way to utilise the 2002 Olympic legacy than by using it for another Winter Olympics? It hosted a very successful winter games in 2002 (at risk of offending Vancouver folk, perhaps 2002 was the most successful?), and would need relatively minor improvements to step forward for a 2026 hosting. Plus - I wonder how a potential Romney presidency could positvely impact a SLC bid for a second Olympics? I'm sure he'd be right behind it. I can imagine that in the fact of losing 2024 - the third failed summer bid by the US, the rehashing a successful former Winter Olympics might be tempting for a weary USOC.

While this is not my ideal outcome - if it were to come to this - it might be a good opportunity for Canada to step in. If the US is putting forward Salt Lake City - what is stopping Canada from potentially putting forward Calgary for a second Winter Olympics in 2026? And if the mountain issue is resolved (I'm not that well versed on it), even Quebec City?

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I think Calgary should bid if that were to be the case. Quebec City apparently doesn't need a lot to fix the hill issue. If they can fix that Quebec certainly would be Canada's next winter bid. After two in a row in the west its time for the east of the country next time to host be it Toronto or Quebec.

I would love SLC to bid and host again! They were my first games and still remember a lot about it.

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20 years after? I have seen so many cities express interest (i know express is the key word) why pick a city which caused such controversy. It's hard enough as is for America to get some vote let alone win let alone with the city that has a cheating scandal let alone the same city in 20 years! Would much prefer a summer games, no point in going for 2022 or 2024. Maybe 2026.

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If the USOC were to back a bid by SLC, they would have to believe there was a strong likelihood that the IOC would vote for SLC over the other 2026 contenders.

I can only think of a few ways the USOC might arrive at this belief and I find all of them disconcerting at best.

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I am struggling mightily to imagine circumstances that would induce the IOC to award to Winter Olympics to not only the same country, but the same city within 24 years.

The circumstances are simple - they put forth the best bid.

I honestly believe you *way* overthink all the political menutia, country/continental rotations, etc. Sure, that's one factor, but it's only one.

But let's accept your rotational paradigm: Where you think 2026 will end up? Three contients, two hosts in North America - that's a WOG in the US, yep, every 24 years. Or you could look at history: gaps in US WOG hosting: 22 years, 20 years, and 28 years. Again, 24 year between US WOG is just about right.

So the only question is where in the US do you host? Your choices are Denver (not gonna happen), a smaller city with the funds to build the infrastructure (Bozeman? Anchorage?) or a repeat (Salt Lake, Tahoe or Lake Placid). Salt Lake starts to look pretty darn good?

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If the USOC were to back a bid by SLC, they would have to believe there was a strong likelihood that the IOC would vote for SLC over the other 2026 contenders.

What other 2026 contenders? Your choices are putting the games in Europe for the 3rd time out of 4, in China (in Asia for the 2nd time out of 3, with no appealing candidate) or US/Canada. Canada will either have to build a mountain in Quebec, or put forth their own retread.
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But let's accept your rotational paradigm: Where you think 2026 will end up? Three contients, two hosts in North America - that's a WOG in the US, yep, every 24 years. Or you could look at history: gaps in US WOG hosting: 22 years, 20 years, and 28 years. Again, 24 year between US WOG is just about right.

So the only question is where in the US do you host? Your choices are Denver (not gonna happen), a smaller city with the funds to build the infrastructure (Bozeman? Anchorage?) or a repeat (Salt Lake, Tahoe or Lake Placid). Salt Lake starts to look pretty darn good?

It's easier to imagine the Winter Olympics holding to some sort of unwritten rules of continental rotation than Summer for the reasons you said. If the Olympics were placed in the United States in 2026, it says the math since 1980 is that North America gets a Winter Olympics every 3rd cycle and that the United States gets it every 6th cycle. It will be the XXV Olympic Winter Games. It's the 250th anniversary of the United States. Assuming 2022 is in Europe (hard to envision it not being there at this point), 2026 seems destined for North America, specifically the United States. I know I'm the guy who says you can't look ahead too far at these things, but whereas we've seen some less than favorable situations for American bidding, this one seems like it would be favorable.

Now does the USOC have that winning bid somewhere? Would the IOC frown upon a repeat bidder, especially if that bidder is Salt Lake? For me, it's the same issue that Los Angeles faces, only compounded by an even more recent hosting.. how do they differentiate a 2026 bid from their 2002 hosting. How do they sell the IOC on returning to a city where that legacy was supposed to last a lifetime rather than placing a new legacy in a new city? If the IOC ever made the move to hosting the Olympics in a smarter, sensible, less costly location, then by all means come back to Salt Lake where you already have a speed skating oval, a sliding track among other things.

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While geopolitics could favor an American bid for 2026, that doesn't necessarily mean the IOC will accept any city offered up -- particularly one that just hosted.

If there are no other bidders, it won't matter and the IOC will be stuck, but at this point we don't know who other bidders will or won't be.

Unfortunately, there is a long history of IOC votes that overlook the "best bid". It's not necessarily a meritocracy. It does depend on how you define "best," though. In this case, whatever bid the IOC wants is probably the one that is "best."

In my opinion, there isn't anything that suggests the IOC would want to go back to Salt Lake City so soon unless they had no viable alternative.

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In my opinion, there isn't anything that suggests the IOC would want to go back to Salt Lake City so soon unless they had no viable alternative.

There will be "viable" alternatives, but I suspect every 2026 candidate will have a major flaw. The question will be which is more fatal. Imagine a lineup of

- SLC

- Quebec

- One or more of the 2022 Western European losers (Germany/Swiss/Norway)

- Habin/Almanty or other city with no history of hosting WOC-sport competions.

Which flaw is worse

- Repeat city

- No mountain

- Repeat continent

- No track record

Gonna be interesting to see.

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While geopolitics could favor an American bid for 2026, that doesn't necessarily mean the IOC will accept any city offered up -- particularly one that just hosted.

If there are no other bidders, it won't matter and the IOC will be stuck, but at this point we don't know who other bidders will or won't be.

Unfortunately, there is a long history of IOC votes that overlook the "best bid". It's not necessarily a meritocracy. It does depend on how you define "best," though. In this case, whatever bid the IOC wants is probably the one that is "best."

In my opinion, there isn't anything that suggests the IOC would want to go back to Salt Lake City so soon unless they had no viable alternative.

That's why geopolitical factors so often trump the "best bid." Let's assume that 2022 goes to Europe (again, that's all but assured at this point). The IOC's options for 2026 then become..

A ) return to the continent that just hosted the previous Winter Olympics

B ) return to the continent that hosted 2 cycles earlier (which, pretty much by default, would have to be a new frontier type host)

or C ) return to a continent they haven't been to in 4 cycles and has a very successful track record of hosting

Your first point is certainly correct.. they're not going to take whatever the USOC offers simply because "it's their time." But whereas Salt Lake would stand little chance otherwise, this could tip the scales slightly in their favor if the USOC were to put them forward. I don't suspect that will happen either, but it's also the reason why if Europe and Asia fail to produce a very compelling bid, a flawed U.S. bid might be able to pull off a win. And yes, the USOC in that case would be well aware of the consequences of what it would mean for Summer bidding.

What better legacy is there than hosting a future Olympics?

Future should be more than 24 years. If SLC could completely differentiate a 2026 bid from 2002, then maybe they have something. But I don't see how they would do that. What do you think the IOC would prefer? To start a brand new legacy in another city or country that can be in place for decades? Or to build upon a legacy that was supposed to last a lifetime, but instead needs to be renewed after a relatively short period of time?

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Actually, the election in 2 weeks MIGHT have a bearing on a US 2026 WOG. If Mr. Romney is elected (or even NOT elected by reruns in 2016 and wins then), SLC 2002 will loom big on his resume esp in ANOTHER run by SLC. And if MR is/still president by 2019 (when 2026 will be picked), then Mr. MR will place the full weight of his presidency on Sal Lake City ReduXXV!!

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What do you think the IOC would prefer? To start a brand new legacy in another city or country that can be in place for decades? Or to build upon a legacy that was supposed to last a lifetime, but instead needs to be renewed after a relatively short period of time?

One of the things the IOC should love is that SLC *kept* their legacy. The speed skating rink is still used as a speed skating rink. The curling ice still has curling. The sledding tracks are used for sledding. For 2026, they will can improve on the venues and leave an even stronger legacy.

The other cities will most likely suggest some temporary / adaptable venues. If anything, SLC may have the strongest legacy claim.

The world only needs so many olympic quality sledding tracks and speed skating ovals. At some point, you either (1) reuse existing ones, (2) build temporary ones or (3) build white elephants.

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The Delta Center in SLC proved a problematic one for Figure Skating. If SLC wants another run, they will have to build a better FS/short-track speedskating arena. Maybe the Mormon Cathedral might be reused for that? :lol:

For the Opening Ceremony, I can already see scenes from BOOK OF MORMON!! :lol:

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The Delta Center, Energy Solutions Arena, er Salt Lake Ice Center had to rip out the first rows of seats to fit the Olympic-sized ice. Looked a bit strange, but not a shop-stopper, or something you would build a new area to avoid.

I can tell you from experience.. it was a lot more than just looking a bit strange. Because of the way the arena was set up, the sightlines were terrible, especially for short track. I remember being there 1 night and sitting in 1 of the front row seats in the lower bowl opposite the start/finish line (left unused for most of the night by sponsors). There you had a good view. Go up a few rows and you're losing a lot of view. It was much worse in the upper bowl. And I've read a lot of competitors weren't all that thrilled with the setup.

Should be noted.. the arena is currently the 7th oldest in the NBA (out of 30). The arenas that are older include Oracle Arena in Oakland (which the Warriors will be leaving in a few years), Madison Square Garden (currently undergoing major renovations), the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, whatever the arena is called in Sacramento (assuming they hold onto that team), The Palace in Auburn Hills (Pistons), and Target Center in Minneapolis. EnergySolutions Arena would be 36 years old by 2026. Not ancient by any means, but it wouldn't be the craziest thing for them to built a new arena and there is space nearby with which to do so.

One of the things the IOC should love is that SLC *kept* their legacy. The speed skating rink is still used as a speed skating rink. The curling ice still has curling. The sledding tracks are used for sledding. For 2026, they will can improve on the venues and leave an even stronger legacy.

The other cities will most likely suggest some temporary / adaptable venues. If anything, SLC may have the strongest legacy claim.

The world only needs so many olympic quality sledding tracks and speed skating ovals. At some point, you either (1) reuse existing ones, (2) build temporary ones or (3) build white elephants.

How would 2026 make it stronger? Yes, SLC should be commended for its commitment to winter sports, but we're only 20 years out from Salt Lake. If those venues are already being used for their intended purposes, then why award Salt Lake another Olympics after so little time as if to say "thanks, just keep doing what you're already doing anyway."

I'm 100% with you that there's only so many facilities a country needs, but this is the IOC we're talking about. If a country offers to build a $30 billion mini city worth of venues, that's probably going to sway them more than to say that Salt Lake already has a sliding track, so let's use that one again.

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I'm 100% with you that there's only so many facilities a country needs, but this is the IOC we're talking about. If a country offers to build a $30 billion mini city worth of venues, that's probably going to sway them more than to say that Salt Lake already has a sliding track, so let's use that one again.

True. But, fortunately, for SLC, I can't image any North American city going the Sochi/Pyeongchang route.

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