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Salt Lake City To Bid For Winter Olympic Games - Report


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I will say this for SLC, they would be a very, very responsible choice. Personally, I don't have any problem with returning to hosts who have almost everything ready to go.

Unfortunately, I don't think the IOC views things the same way. Not only do they like new locales and new venues, they don't like bribery scandals. The scandal alone isn't enough to sink SLC, but when combined with their 2002 Games, it makes it pretty doubtful.

If the US bid for 2026 and the IOC disliked the American bid, I can imagine them happily returning to Europe. History is full of back-to-back European Winter Olympics.

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I will say this for SLC, they would be a very, very responsible choice. Personally, I don't have any problem with returning to hosts who have almost everything ready to go.

Unfortunately, I don't think the IOC views things the same way. Not only do they like new locales and new venues, they don't like bribery scandals. The scandal alone isn't enough to sink SLC, but when combined with their 2002 Games, it makes it pretty doubtful.

Exactly.. the IOC has hinted on occasion that they would like to be more responsible and cost-effective when it comes to choosing host cities. If that were the case, cities like Salt Lake and Los Angeles would be welcomed with open arms as repeat hosts. But that's not their tune these days. And yes, the bribery scandal (regardless of what the eventual judgment on that was) does taint the city somewhat.

If the US bid for 2026 and the IOC disliked the American bid, I can imagine them happily returning to Europe. History is full of back-to-back European Winter Olympics.

That's not really true though. Since 1972 when Asia first hosted an OWG, the only time Europe has gone back-to-back was 1992 and 1994 and the only non-European bidder for either Olympics there was Anchorage. I know patterns and history aren't as useful as we like to think, but here's some food for thought..

Since Grenbole in 1968, every even numbered Winter Olympics (X, XII, XIV, etc.) has been held in Europe with the exception of the XVIII Winter Olympics in Nagano. Conversely, every odd numbered Olympics except for 1 (XVII in Lillehammer) have been outside Europe. The pattern should continue for 2022. I'd have to take a closer look at the past fields of bid candidates, but the IOC has very much shied away from consecutive OWGs in Europe, so I imagine they could be hesitant to put 2026 in Europe unless the other candidates were that unattractive.

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That's not really true though. Since 1972 when Asia first hosted an OWG, the only time Europe has gone back-to-back was 1992 and 1994 and the only non-European bidder for either Olympics there was Anchorage. I know patterns and history aren't as useful as we like to think, but here's some food for thought..

Since Grenbole in 1968, every even numbered Winter Olympics (X, XII, XIV, etc.) has been held in Europe with the exception of the XVIII Winter Olympics in Nagano. Conversely, every odd numbered Olympics except for 1 (XVII in Lillehammer) have been outside Europe. The pattern should continue for 2022. I'd have to take a closer look at the past fields of bid candidates, but the IOC has very much shied away from consecutive OWGs in Europe, so I imagine they could be hesitant to put 2026 in Europe unless the other candidates were that unattractive.

It is still very conceivable that the IOC could turn to Europe in 2026 if they didn't like their alternatives. The IOC is weighted in Europe's favor. German Games and Norwegian Games (for example) would have a radically different feel from each other if they were to host 2022 and 2026. Sochi is technically European, but certainly isn't a traditional host. A good dose of western Europe balanced by Scandinavia might work out nicely.

As for precedent, there's a lot pre-1972, but there is also '92 and '94 (Europe had SOGs in '92 as well) -- as Quaker noted. It's certainly not as unprecedented as back-to-back Asian Olympics, which is now looking like a distinct possibility with 2018 and 2020. In fact, one might argue that Istanbul qualifies as Asian as well as Tokyo....

I'm not saying I expect European Games in 2026, I'm just saying that the IOC could have attractive alternatives for 2026 if the US chooses not to bid or offers a less desirable candidate.

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Ok let's pretend that Salt Lake City is bidding for 2026. How different will it be from their 2002 games? Will the neighboring counties want a piece of the action again or will they insist that these games are going to be compact and will reject any "regional" based games like 2002 was.

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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.

in order of worst

no mountain

repeat city (not just a repeat city but same one in 20 years not 40-80 years)

no track record

repeat continent

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Why can't USA simply wait for a 2032 summer games. If they get winter it rules them out of a 2028 or 2032 games which sucks. And that means we won't have an english speaking host til 2036 or beyond! I don't wanna have to wait that long! :P

But still i'm sure we will see more then 3 applicants for 2022, Munich, Spanish city? China? Ukraine? Poland? Norway?

Also Almaty does have experience Asian winter games and winter universiade.

Hope they realize bidding for 2024 is fruitless unless Africa and Paris don't bid http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/sports/olympics/us-olympic-committee-decides-not-to-bid-for-2022-games.html?_r=0

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Why can't USA simply wait for a 2032 summer games. If they get winter it rules them out of a 2028 or 2032 games which sucks. And that means we won't have an english speaking host til 2036 or beyond! I don't wanna have to wait that long! :P

I strongly agree with this. I really hope the USOC takes a longer view. I understand that they need to consider 2024 and 2026 first because they are the next two Games for which the US is considering bidding. Perhaps the chances of winning 2026 are better than the chances of landing 2024 (although I really think the jury is still out on this). But 2028 and 2032 shouldn't be forgotten as options. They are only 2 and 6 years later than 2026, respectively. That's really not much time to wait if you would prefer to host Summer Games. I really can't imagine the IOC shutting out the US through 2032. I think that if they want to host Summer Games in that time frame -- they can.

If they go for 2026, I will wonder if the decision was motivated at least partly by short-sightedness and a desire for instant gratification.

Hope they realize bidding for 2024 is fruitless unless Africa and Paris don't bid http://www.nytimes.c...games.html?_r=0

I understand your point here. But I still think there are uncertainties. First, it's very possible that neither Africa nor Paris will bid for 2024. There's also no guarantee an African bid will be up to scratch. Finally, if the American bid is of extremely high quality and the IOC looks favorably on the revenue deal, I can imagine that the US might beat either Paris or Africa -- maybe both.

Of course it is also possible that the Americans could be handed their hats in the early rounds, but I am not ready to assume that will be the case.

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I strongly agree with this. I really hope the USOC takes a longer view. I understand that they need to consider 2024 and 2026 first because they are the next two Games for which the US is considering bidding. Perhaps the chances of winning 2026 are better than the chances of landing 2024 (although I really think the jury is still out on this). But 2028 and 2032 shouldn't be forgotten as options. They are only 2 and 6 years later than 2026, respectively. That's really not much time to wait if you would prefer to host Summer Games. I really can't imagine the IOC shutting out the US through 2032. I think that if they want to host Summer Games in that time frame -- they can.

If they go for 2026, I will wonder if the decision was motivated at least partly by short-sightedness and a desire for instant gratification.

Not to re-hash our whole argument again.. if they think they can land 2026, why not go for it? And give the USOC at least a little credit that it will be a well thought out decision that takes into account the implications. We don't know what's going to happen on the Summer side. Part of the problem with your argument is that we've seen New York fail and then lose interest. We've seen Chicago fail and probably lose interest. If the USOC finds a winter candidate, whether it's Salt Lake, Denver, Reno-Tahoe or maybe someone else, you know they'll be able to back them until they win. If they can't get that on the summer side, then that's a problem. And while I don't believe the IOC will pass over the United States several times in a row, how many times has the argument been made over the United States hosting too much. I know you continue to look at the bigger picture here, but if winning a Winter Olympics is going to be easier than winning a Summer Olympics (all things considered, in this case it would be even though that's all much easier said than done), I don't see them being in the wrong for choosing that path.

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@AF, And you're going to get picky with the IOC? I mean they're almost saying "...you can more assuredly, have a Winter Games...and you're going to pass it up because you want to shoot for a Summer Games sooner?" It's really almost as idiotic as what Denver did in 1972. And maybe some American-haters in the IOC may just see at HOW picky the US has become and presumptive...whereas other nations will quickly grab at the first opportunity that an alignment of stars bring their way, the prima donna USA passes and picks and chooses. Which is their prerogative but based on how the IOC blows. So maybe we shouldn't give them another Summer for another 5 rounds.

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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.

St. Moritz 1928 & 1948, Innsbruck 1964 & 1976! :)

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St. Moritz 1928 & 1948, Innsbruck 1964 & 1976! :)

1948 winter Olympics only had 2 bidders. St Moritz and Lake Placid. Lake Placid already hosted the games even sooner then St Moritz. They held the games in 1932.

Innsbruck doesn't count as it was handed to them because Denver pulled out.

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1948 winter Olympics only had 2 bidders. St Moritz and Lake Placid. Lake Placid already hosted the games even sooner then St Moritz. They held the games in 1932.

Innsbruck doesn't count as it was handed to them because Denver pulled out.

Very true! But lets say SLC is against Quebec only I think SLC would win hands down.

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St. Moritz 1928 & 1948, Innsbruck 1964 & 1976! :)

St. Moritz was chosen in 1948 in part because they had remained neutral during the war and already had most of the facilities in place (as did Lake Placid). The host selection wasn't made until September 1946, only 16 months before the Games, so they had no choice but to choose a previous host.

And Innsbruck 1976.. we know the circumstances that led to them hosting the Olympics that year.

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But have they ever had 3 out of 4?

Well, there was Sarajevo 84, Calgary 88, Albertville 92 and Lillehammer 94. So that's 3 out of 4 WOG in Europe.

If all the US has to offer is Salt Lake, I could see the IOC going back to Europe for 2026. Like Athensfan said, Scandinavia is different from the Alps, so Germany/Switzerland could host one time and Norway/Sweden the next.

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+ Sarajevo, Albertville and Lillehammer are all on different parts of the continent and different mountain ranges. Europe then again has the most potential winter hosts. As only 6 (Kazakhstan, China, USA, Canada, Korea, Japan) exist outside Europe, then the first two are not tested.

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I don't think one can say that any city can "assuredly" host any Games -- unless the candidate in question is the sole bidder.

I agree that 2026 makes sense for North American Games, but that does not mean the IOC will accept any bid that's offered irrespective of its drawbacks -- that includes SLC. There will in all likelihood be a capable European alternative.

As for Summer Games, I think the chances of the US getting Summer Games by 2032 are every bit as good as the US getting 2026. In my opinion, a maximum of six years is not much of a wait.

So for me it boils down to this: a good chance at Winter Games in 2026 -- provided there's a decent candidate. Or a good chance at Sumner Games no more than 6 years later -- provided there's a decent candidate.

I do believe that if the Summer Games come first there's a much better chance of following up quickly with Winter Games than the reverse.

Some posts in this thread seem to suggest that the IOC has no option other than the US for 2026 and therefore the US shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. I do not share that view and I suspect the IOC doesn't either.

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Not that continental rotation is an official thing (even though there's a pretty distinct pattern that has held almost perfectly for 50 years), but it almost seems like it would be sensible to split the Winter Olympic world into 4 regions instead of 3.. North America, Western Europe/Scandanavia, Eastern Europe/Western Asia, and Eastern Asia. As many have noted, Sochi may technically be in Europe, but location-wise it really is more in Asia (not sure where it lands culturally). So a case could be made for going back to back in Europe if the 2 locations are distinct enough.

So no, 2026 is anything but a slam dunk for the United States. Favorable yes, but not if there's another bidder out there who can make a compelling case, something that arguably the 2002 bid field did not have.

Where do the USOC's chances stand on the summer front? That's a little harder to pinpoint and the competition there seems like it will continue to be a lot stronger. All things being equal, if the question is which would the United States be more likely to land first, a Summer Olympics or a Winter Olympics, I think the answer is unquestionably Winter. That said, it does come down to the candidate they can offer. Again, as we've been saying for a while, there a lot more knowns on the Winter side than the Summer side. We can argue (and will continue to do so I'm sure) about which offers the better chance at a win. Either way, I still think the logic should be (and I know Athens strongly disagrees with this) to take what you think you can get first and then worry about the other side of it later. I know on the surface that going Summer then Winter is probably more attainable than if they go Winter then Summer, but I think it would be a mistake to hold off a more likely Winter win and push that back to wait for after a Summer a win. All this assuming of course they have a viable candidate with which to bid, whether that's Salt Lake or someone else.

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Geopolitics are one part of the equation. The success of any future bid (Summer or Winter) is contingent on the identities and capabilities of the potential candidate cities. In my opinion, this is an even more important consideration than geopolitics.

I personally am not impressed by any of the potential Winter candidates. All have serious drawbacks.

As for Summer candidates, there have been murmurs, but it's been fairly quiet. Some argue this proves no qualified city wants to host Summer Games. I don't think that the absence of information proves much one way or the other. We have to wait and see.

If the 2020 race proves anything at all it shows that seeming "sure bets" are not (Rome, South Africa). If we couldn't call this race accurately only 18 months ago, how can anyone reasonably make hard and fast proclamations about races that are years away from even beginning? Each race has its own unique dynamics and although one might attempt to forecast the bid climate years in advance, there really is no way to know what the landscape will be until you are in the midst of it.

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I personally am not impressed by any of the potential Winter candidates. All have serious drawbacks.

So do the prospective US summer cities. If it were up 2 u, no CITY will ever be perfect, i.e., it will only be perfect if it fits into your timeframe. Having said that, I suggest the IOC completely bypass the US until two PERFECT CITIES (one winter, one summer) appear out of the mist! Of course, when will that be? 2084.

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Geopolitics are one part of the equation. The success of any future bid (Summer or Winter) is contingent on the identities and capabilities of the potential candidate cities. In my opinion, this is an even more important consideration than geopolitics.

Exactly. This is what we leave out of the debate too often. The question isn't whether a generic US SOC candidate city has a better chance than a generic WOC canidate city. It's whether the actual WOC candidate city the USOC would put forth has a better chance that the actual SOC candite city the USOC would put forth.

I personally am not impressed by any of the potential Winter candidates. All have serious drawbacks.

Here's where we disagree. Yes, the US WOC cities all have serious drawbacks. But pretty much any WOC candiate city is going to have seroius drawbacks. I'm impressed with our choices. The US has several potential cities that are as strong (IMO) as any in the world.

As for Summer candidates, there have been murmurs, but it's been fairly quiet. Some argue this proves no qualified city wants to host Summer Games. I don't think that the absence of information proves much one way or the other. We have to wait and see.

But the key fact is that right now, there are zero cities itching to put forth a SOC bid, especially not world class cities ready to put forth world-class bids. No committiees, no organization, no key leaders, no theoritical plans. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

Are the odds better that the USOC will put forth a great WOC bid that will win vs the odds that the USOC will put forth a great SOC that will win.

I've long said that the IOC isn't going to give Denver a games. But right now I think Denver has a better shot at getting a games than NYC or Chicago simply because Denver is in the game, and the other cities are not.

If the 2020 race proves anything at all it shows that seeming "sure bets" are not (Rome, South Africa). If we couldn't call this race accurately only 18 months ago, how can anyone reasonably make hard and fast proclamations about races that are years away from even beginning? Each race has its own unique dynamics and although one might attempt to forecast the bid climate years in advance, there really is no way to know what the landscape will be until you are in the midst of it.

This is *extremely* true. I'd ask you to think long and hard about it. Write it down on a post-it and stick on your computer. Let that thought color all our thoughts on the subject going forward. We don't know that the heck the IOC will do. All we can do is guess, and almost all our guesses will be wrong. Think about it especailly hard when your are proclaiming that the USOC shouldn't even try for a WOC because you are guessing that will lessen the chance for a SOC.

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