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UTAH FORMS OLYMPIC/PARALYMPIC EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE
Group to examine whether Utah is ready, willing and able to host future Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games
SALT LAKE CITY (October 16, 2017) – A group of elected officials, business leaders and community leaders took an important step toward potentially hosting a future Olympic Winter Games, announcing the formation of an official Olympic/Paralympic Exploratory Committee (OEC).
“Salt Lake City and the entire state of Utah set a very high standard for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2002,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “Since then, Utah has continued to expand and grow our presence in the worldwide sports community. We see this as the right time to explore the possibility of hosting the world again.”
After Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 games, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced its desire to put forth a bid for an upcoming Winter Olympics this past Friday, with a focus on 2026 or 2030. With the USOC’s interest in hosting Olympic Winter Games, the Utah-based OEC will move forward to explore this opportunity and whether or not to launch an official bid.
“Salt Lake City is a proud member of the Olympic family,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We value our long-standing relationship with the International Olympic Committee and the USOC and we are eager to explore any opportunity that should present itself to host the games again. We also congratulate Los Angeles on being awarded the 2028 Olympic games and supporting them in any way we can.”
The committee will be co-chaired by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, Utah Sports Commission President and CEO Jeff Robbins and local business leader, Fraser Bullock, who served as chief operating officer of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 games. Mike Plant, president of development for the Atlanta Braves and president of the U.S. Speedskating Association and Dexter Paine, chairman of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association, will serve as vice-chairs of the committee. Additional members of the committee will be announced at a press conference Thursday.
“In 2012, an exploratory report was commissioned to determine if hosting the Olympic Winter Games a second time was something we should seriously consider,” said President Niederhauser. “The results were pretty clear: Utah is ready, willing and able to host.”
“The Olympic and sport legacy is alive and well in Utah, some 15 years later,” Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes said. “That spirit is still driving significant economic and branding benefit to our state and we look forward to taking part in the process.”
Utah’s commitment to utilizing and maintaining the facilities constructed for the 2002 games puts Salt Lake City in an unique position. Since the 2002 games, Utah has positioned itself as the “State of Sport,” hosting well over 600 events, including many major international sporting events.
The OEC will provide its recommendation to its board by February 1, 2018.
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