A top International Olympic Committee executive continues to sound upbeat about Utah’s bid for the 2034 Winter Games.

During a recent interview with NBC Sports, Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s Olympic Games executive director, offered an encouraging assessment of the state’s legacy from hosting in 2002, as well as of that of France’s French Alps bid for the 2030 Winter Games.

“We just visited, and how refreshing it was that two of our former hosts — Albertville, (France) in 1992 and Salt Lake City in 2002 — are still, how can I say, tattooed with the Games. You still find the Games energy rings everywhere,” Dubi said.

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He noted during the interview that the IOC members and sports officials that make up the Switzerland-based organization’s Future Host Commission are set to present detailed reports on both bids to the IOC Executive Board “in a matter of days.”

The commission traveled to Utah and France in April, along with Dubi and other IOC executives and staff, to tour proposed Games venues. Under the IOC’s new, less formal selection process, late last year Utah was named the preferred host for 2034, and France, for 2030.

It will be up to the IOC leaders who sit on the Executive Board whether the bids advance to a final vote of the full membership already anticipated to be held on July 24, Utah’s Pioneer Day, at a meeting just before the start of the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

That decision is likely to come during the Executive Board’s June 12-14 meeting.

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During his time in Utah, Dubi had lots to say about another Olympics in the state, advising would-be organizers not to be in a rush to put together plans that should “be bold and ambitious,” assuring them, “You have all it takes. You have the venues and you have the people. Once you have that, you have the ingredients to deliver the Games.”


Dubi also described how much Salt Lake City has changed since the last Winter Games, declaring it an “Olympic blossoming. This city has really transformed, probably thanks to many things, but the Games being one of them. There’s no doubt about that.”

He referred to how “lonely” the capital city’s streets felt on Sundays back in 2002, noting that “everything we’ve heard from everyone” suggests Utahns are now even more confident about their ability to show the world a good time during another Olympics.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, then the leader of the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee, was credited by Dubi with setting the tone for Games-goers to enjoy what was the first major international event after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks on the United States.

“It’s pretty impressive, you know,” Dubi said of 2002′s opening ceremonies at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. “Generally, the speeches are very dignified. And here comes Mitt Romney and he says, ‘Is this a party, or what?’ I said, ‘Wow, this is the United States. This is different.’”

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