SALT LAKE CITY — It looks like there isn't a chance that Salt Lake City could be awarded the 2030 Winter Games next year after International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach ruled out choosing hosts for two cities at the same time.
“I don’t think that this is possible because we have a number of interested cities and (national Olympic committees) already for 2030,” Bach told Around the Rings, an Atlanta-based online news source, at an Olympic meeting in Tokyo.
“You would need to give all of them a fair chance,” Bach said.
It had not been clear whether the IOC would repeat its unprecedented dual award decision in 2017 that gave Paris the 2024 Summer Games and Los Angeles the 2028 Summer Games.
The IOC is set to name the site of the 2026 Winter Games in June 2019. There are two cities still in the running, Milan and Cortina d' Ampezzo, Italy, and Stockholm, Sweden, although both bids face opposition.
Backers of Utah's efforts to land another Olympics Thursday raised the possibility the IOC could choose to also award the 2030 Winter Games then, leaving just six months to prepare an international bid.
"It's just a ton of work," a leader of the bid effort, Fraser Bullock, told members of the state's Olympic Exploratory Committee. But Bullock, chief operating officer for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, said it could be done.
Salt Lake City has yet to be chosen by the U.S. Olympic Committee to bid on behalf of the United States for a future Winter Games. Both Salt Lake City and Denver are competing to be the U.S. bid city.
The USOC is set to consider a bid at its mid-December meeting and has not specified which Winter Games would be sought. Besides Salt Lake City, Denver remains in the running for the U.S. bid.
Last month, USOC officials toured Olympic venues in Utah and are reviewing a detailed workbook for a $1.4 billion Winter Games without state or local tax dollars. The USOC will also conduct a public opinion poll to measure support for a Games.
Bullock said Utah’s “first step is participating in the selection process for the USOC. We are hopeful to be selected as its candidate for a future Winter Games. One option is hosting in 2030, and as we indicated, it could take one of two paths, including the traditional path of being awarded in 2023. We would be honored to participate in any process outlined by the USOC and IOC.”
With Bach's announcement, the IOC is now expected to award the 2030 Winter Games in 2023.
Other cities interested in bidding are Sapporo, Japan, the 1972 Olympic host city that withdrew from the running for 2026; Almaty, Kazakhstan, which narrowly lost the race for the 2022 Games to Beijing, Around the Rings reported.