France is officially in the running to host the 2030 Winter Games.

A bid by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions was announced Tuesday, two months after French International Olympic Committee member Guy Drut suggested the two mountain areas could be a late entry in the race.

The Rhône-Alpes of France have been the site of three previous Winter Games, in Chamonix in 1924; Grenoble, in 1968; and Albertville, in 1992, and Paris is hosting the 2024 Summer Games.

Oui, this country may be a late entry in the race to host the 2030 Winter Games

Holding the 2030 Games in France would be “a great opportunity to continue the momentum of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said David Lappartient, head of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee.

It would also “offer fabulous prospects for French sport and our athletes,” Lappartient said.

According to a translated news release from France’s Olympic committee, the IOC will be contacted in July “to open a phase of formal dialogue with the IOC and its commission for future host cities with a view to drawing up a candidacy” for 2030.

The bid will be reviewed by French Olympic and Paralympic officials in September, and submitted later that month to the IOC’s Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games, the news release stated.

Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Winter Games, is bidding to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games, with a preference for the later date to avoid competing for domestic sponsorships with the 2028 Summer Games in another U.S. city, Los Angeles.

Just how soon will the IOC pick the next Winter Olympics hosts?

Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games that’s behind the effort to bring another Olympics to the state, was enthusiastic about France’s bid.

“We are thrilled that France is pursuing Winter Games in 2030. Our hope is for a Games in 2034. France, Sweden, or someone else hosting in 2030 would be a great outcome for all,” Bullock said.

“France is a country that has demonstrated its strong commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic movements and would be a great winter host in addition to the Summer Games in 2024, which I believe will be incredibly special,” he said.

IOC leaders had been expected to name their picks to host the 2030 and possibly the 2034 Winter Games last December, but instead decided to delay a decision, likely until later this year.

That opened up the competition to host to new bidders. Now, in addition to Salt Lake City; Sapporo, Japan; and Vancouver, Canada; the IOC is in talks with Sweden, Switzerland and an unnamed sixth country.

View Comments

Whether that’s France remains to be seen. The IOC Executive Board could consider advancing bid cities to the final, contract negotiation stage of the new, less formal selection process as soon as October.

A final vote of the full IOC membership is anticipated a year from now, when the IOC meets before the start of the Paris Olympics, and may be for both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.

When the possibility of a French bid for 2030 was raised in May by Drut, the French IOC member said if his country could succeed in bringing together the southern and northern Alps, “we have a small chance, a chance, to get them.”

News reports described Drut as referring to the French Riviera city of Nice holding ice events while skiing and snowboarding competitions would be held in the Rhône-Alpes to the north.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.