Even though a decision by the International Olympic Committee on Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games likely won’t come until the end of the year, another previous U.S. host city is already gearing up to try for a future Winter Olympics.
Lake Placid, the New York village that hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, would be paired with someplace else — New York City and Montreal, Canada, have been mentioned — for another bid under legislation passed last week by the New York State Assembly that creates a commission to recommend that partner.
The legislation, which still needs approval from the New York State Senate and Gov. Kathy Hochul, also requires the commission to report back to state leaders on the feasibility of Lake Placid hosting another Winter Games no later than Feb. 1, 2024.
Salt Lake City, of course, has been the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s choice to host a future Winter Games since December 2018. The Utah capital, host of the 2002 Winter Games, beat out Denver to bid on behalf of the United States for what was then an unspecified Winter Games after the Reno-Tahoe area withdrew.
With Los Angeles hosting the 2028 Summer Games, the financial feasibility of holding back-to-back American Games is still being worked out, so 2034 is still on the table. But Utah bidders are focused on 2030, and Salt Lake City is considered a front-runner in the international race, along with Sapporo, Japan.
Other cities in the running are Vancouver, Canada; and Barcelona, Spain, bidding with the Pyrenees mountain region. Like Salt Lake City, the other 2030 contenders also are former Olympic hosts — Sapporo, the 1972 Winter Games; Vancouver, the 2010 Winter Games; and Barcelona, the 1992 Summer Games.
Both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games could be awarded by the IOC at the same time under a new, less formal selection process meant to ensure a steady stream of candidates able to deliver a sustainable event that doesn’t break the bank and discourage future bidders.
While there’s no set deadline for choosing the site of the next Winter Games, the IOC recently confirmed the field could be narrowed to a single city by the end of the year, with final ratification by the full membership expected in May 2023.
Lake Placid’s interest in bringing a third Olympics to the area comes after New York state has spent millions of dollars to upgrade facilities originally built for the 1980 Winter Games in preparation for the village hosting the 2023 World University Games, according to Spectrum News 1, a central New York news channel.
“The Lake Placid region is ready to start the conversation on hosting the Winter Olympics again,” New York Assemblyman Billy Jones told the news channel. “Hosting the Games would be great for our regional economy and would introduce a new generation to the iconic ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority) facilities.”
Jones said given that next year’s World University Games, overseen by the Swiss-based Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire, will have twice as many competitions as the 1980 Winter Games, “ORDA’s facilities are more than equipped to host the Winter Olympics.”
The USOPC responded to the news of Lake Placid’s potential bid in a statement.
“We are grateful to New York state and ORDA for its unwavering support of Lake Placid as a home for Team USA and winter sport, for its commitment to offering world class facilities and welcoming national and international events,” the Colorado Springs-based organization’s statement said.
But the USOPC added, “In 2018, we announced the state of Utah and Salt Lake City as our partner in seeking a future Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and they are currently engaged in the exploration and dialog phases with the IOC. We look forward to welcoming the Games back to Utah.”