With LA bid sealed, US cities look at possible Winter Games

AP

Print Article

  • FILE - This Feb. 8, 2002 file photo shows U.S. champion Michelle Kwan practicing for the women's short program for the Winter Olympic Games at the Salt lake Ice Center in Salt Lake City. There's an outside shot the United States won't have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics. It's a longshot, but there's talk in Salt Lake City, and even some in Denver, of a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, file)

  • 1

    FILE - This Feb. 8, 2002 file photo shows fireworks erupting during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. There's an outside shot the United States won't have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics. It's a longshot, but there's talk in Salt Lake City, and even some in Denver, of a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

  • FILE - This Feb. 8, 2002 file photo shows U.S. champion Michelle Kwan practicing for the women's short program for the Winter Olympic Games at the Salt lake Ice Center in Salt Lake City. There's an outside shot the United States won't have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics. It's a longshot, but there's talk in Salt Lake City, and even some in Denver, of a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, file)

  • 1

    FILE - This Feb. 8, 2002 file photo shows fireworks erupting during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. There's an outside shot the United States won't have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics. It's a longshot, but there's talk in Salt Lake City, and even some in Denver, of a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

LIMA, Peru (AP) There's an outside shot the United States won't have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics.

It's a longshot, but there's talk in Salt Lake City, and even some in Denver, of a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles.

The same country hosting back-to-back Olympics hasn't happened since before World War II, but as this round of bidding has shown, rules are made to be changed.

Five people familiar with internal discussions in both cities told The Associated Press that preliminary talks have taken place about what it would take to bring the Winter Games back to the United States for the first time since Salt Lake hosted in 2002. None of the people wanted their names used because the discussions are preliminary, and because the U.S. Olympic Committee wants to stay focused on the Los Angeles bid for the 2028 Olympics.

"Salt Lake City would enjoy hosting the Games again," said Fraser Bullock, a key player in Salt Lake City's 2002 Olympics. "The focus at this point is on LA, as it should be."

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee will award the 2024 Summer Games to Paris and 2028 to Los Angeles.

Both were in the running for 2024. But realizing he had two top-tier candidates, IOC president Thomas Bach spearheaded a rules change to approve the awarding of the 2028 Games, as well. It helped prevent a potentially embarrassing bid process for those games. At the same time, Bach led a streamlining of the bid process for the 2026 Winter Games, in part to avoid an unwanted repeat of the 2022 bidding when the only bidders were from China and Kazakhstan.

"The sooner the Winter Olympics can come back to the U.S., the better," said Max Cobb, the president of U.S. Biathlon. "We've got a fantastic set of venues in Utah that are still in use and more or less at world-class standard."

The Salt Lake City Games were marred by a bidding scandal that resulted in several IOC members losing their positions for taking bribes.

But with help of Mitt Romney and others, the Olympics were saved, while Salt Lake and Park City have stood as prime examples of the sort of legacy that modern Olympics are supposed to leave in a region. There's an eight-lane interstate running from the Salt Lake airport, which was upgraded for the Olympics, to Park City, which is the home of U.S. Ski and Snowboard. Park City is the host of key U.S. training centers for freestyle skiing, speedskating and cross country skiing.

Overall, the area has hosted about 75 World Cup and world-championship events in winter sports since the Olympic cauldron was extinguished more than 15 years ago.

Denver would have a steeper hill to climb. Although it's bigger than Salt Lake City, the mountains are farther away, and more infrastructure would be needed.

"We would welcome an invitation to discuss, in depth, what it would take for Denver to become a Winter Olympic host city," said Matthew Payne, executive director of the Denver Sports Commission.

Denver also stands as the only city to once be awarded the Olympics the 1976 Winter Games only to turn them back after public opinion turned against hosting the event.

The public support piece is as crucial as ever, especially in the wake of a number of cities pulling out of the running for 2022 and 2024 because of poor response from citizens and failed referendums.

One of the few declared candidates for 2026 Innsbruck, Austria, which has hosted two previous Winter Olympics has a referendum scheduled for Oct. 15 that has the potential to scuttle the bid.

Calgary and Sion, Switzerland, have also shown interest in hosting. Salt Lake City and Denver are officially on the sideline, though after Wednesday, things could heat up. The 2026 Games are next on the docket and the only Olympics through 2028 still in search of a host.

Print Article

Read More World News

The Latest: Myanmar pledges long-term solutions in Rakhine

AP

September 20, 2017 at 6:06 pm | UNITED NATIONS (AP) The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly (all times local): 8:45 p.m. Myanmar says it is committed to long-term solutions to the tensions in Rakhine state from where hund...

Comments

Read More

Mexico quake rescuers race to free girl, other survivors

AP

September 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm | MEXICO CITY (AP) The wiggling fingers of a young girl trapped in the rubble of her collapsed school in Mexico City raised hopes among hundreds of rescuers working furiously Wednesday to try to free...

Comments

Read More

AP PHOTOS: 24 hours of fear, heroism after Mexico quake

AP

September 20, 2017 at 4:18 pm | MEXICO CITY (AP) It was 24 hours of terror and death, hope and heroism in Mexico. A faint, gentle swaying in the early afternoon on Tuesday quickly escalated into a violent, sickening dance wit...

Comments

Read More

Maria destroys homes, triggers flooding in Puerto Rico

AP

September 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm | SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into ragi...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X