France is pushing hard to host the 2030 Winter Games despite being a late entry in the race.

A delegation from the French Alps bid met Thursday with International Olympic Committee leaders less than two months after announcing France was joining Salt Lake City; Sapporo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; Sweden and Switzerland in seeking the Games.

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The trip to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, was intended to “share with the IOC teams the ambition of the French candidacy,” according to a news release from the French national Olympic committee.

They pledged “to share the vision and organize the master plan” for a 2030 Games in the coming weeks, “in order to make it a fabulous moment of emotions, celebration of sport, athletes, the Olympic values ​​of excellence, friendship and respect, promoting peace.”

France is already hosting next year’s Summer Games in Paris, but French IOC member Guy Drut floated the idea of a Winter Games bid in May, saying there was a “small chance” of success if two of the country’s mountain regions teamed up.

Thursday, representatives of France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions were in Lausanne to help pitch what the news release said would be an “exceptional environment” for a Winter Games.

The bid is going forward “with the support of the French state,” the release said.

“Nothing too spectacular,” is how, a French language sports website, described the visit, adding, “It also sends out a signal, and a message, to the competition: France is moving forward, it is making good progress and it will not back down.”

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Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Games, is bidding for 2030 or 2034. But the preference is for the later date, to avoid competing for domestic sponsors with the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Utah’s bid team, including retired world champion alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, traveled to Lausanne in June 2022 to sit down with IOC President Thomas Bach and other Olympic officials.

Later, the IOC acknowledged they were told that the U.S government should have shown more support for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, that were the subject of a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record, called for by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

The selection of a 2030 host was delayed last December by IOC leaders, opening the door for new bids. At the time, only Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were in the running, but both the Japanese and Canadian bids had run into difficulties that continue today.

The IOC’s new, less formal bid process starts with what’s known as “continuous dialogue,” non-binding discussions about what it takes to host an Olympics. It’s IOC leaders who determine which bids advance to contract negotiations in “targeted dialogue.”

That advancement had been expected to happen last December, Now, picks for both the 2030 and 2034 hosts could be made as soon as October, with the full IOC membership voting to ratify the hosts sometime next year.

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France’s bid could complicate where — and when — the final vote is held.

Before the new bid surfaced, it was expected to take place when the full IOC meets in Paris next July, just before the start of the 2024 Summer Games. But that appears to be in conflict with a rule in the IOC’s governing Olympic Charter.

The rule spells out that an “election of the host of the Olympic Games takes place in a country having no candidature for the organization of the Olympic Games concerned,” raising the possibility of the vote having to wait until the IOC’s next session, in 2025.

While there’s no longer any specific timeline, Olympic hosts traditionally have been chosen seven years in advance. The IOC has called the issue “completely hypothetical” at this point and others have noted a virtual meeting could be called at anytime for the vote.