Not only do Utahns back bringing another Olympics to the state in 2034, they want to become a permanent host if a potential rotation among a select group of Winter Games sites is eventually established, according to the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll.

An overwhelming 79% of Utah adults surveyed statewide said they support being part of such a rotation, with 45% strongly in favor of the idea that’s been floated by the International Olympic Committee, and 35% somewhat so. Just 14% were opposed and 6% didn’t know how they feel about it.

Poll shows Utahns strongly support hosting the 2034 Winter Games. Here are the latest numbers.

“I love that the people of Utah are so supportive of the Games,” said Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games that’s behind the bid for the 2034 Winter Games. He said Utahns “not only understand the value of welcoming the world here, but look forward to it again, and again, and again.”

Jason Perry, Hinckley Institute director, said the poll results showcase “Salt Lake City’s star power, proving it’s ready to go for the gold as a permanent future host site.”

Perry said the “strong support for Salt Lake City hosting future Olympics comes from a mix of fond memories and ambition. The 2002 Winter Olympics was a resounding success, leaving behind world-class facilities and a lasting sense of pride. Plus, the potential for economic gains and international attention makes the idea of another Olympics as enticing as a gold medal.”

The same poll also found that 79% of Utahns also support hosting the 2034 Winter Games. Utah is now just one vote away from getting the Games after IOC leaders advanced the bid, already their preferred host, to a final ratification by the full membership in Paris that’s set for July 24, celebrated as Pioneer Day in Utah.

The poll was conducted by HarrisX for the Deseret News and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics June 4-7, 2024, of 889 Utah adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

What started with Utah hosting the 2002 Winter Games has had a lasting impact, Bullock said, describing the results as showing “that whether it’s just 2034 or many times more into the future, the people of Utah really understand the value of the Games for our communities, for our children, and for really bringing the world together.”

Utahns were able to see that firsthand during Salt Lake City’s first Olympics, held just months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Bullock said. Many Utahns volunteered for those Winter Games and all saw what he described as the “fiscally responsible manner” they were organized, relying on private funding rather than state or local tax dollars.

Will the Winter Olympics be rotated between Salt Lake City and other permanent locations?

The IOC raised the possibility of rotating the Winter Games among a selected group of hosts back in December 2022, when leaders decided to take more time to study the effects of climate change and delayed moving would-be 2030 and 2034 bidders to the preferred host stage of the new, less formal selection process.

That enabled new bids to come forward, from France, Switzerland and Sweden, while Sapporo, Japan, and Vancouver, Canada, ended up out of the running due to a lack of public support. The IOC eventually was able to line up potential hosts through 2038, with France’s French Alps bid the preferred host for 2030, and Switzerland the exclusive bidder for 2038.

Now, it could be a decade or more before the IOC considers a Winter Games rotation, possibly ahead of choosing a site for the 2042 Winter Games. A 2022 study found that many past Winter Games sites were “melting away” as global temperatures continue to warm. Bullock said Utah is considered climate reliable at least through 2050 and “perhaps as late as 2080.”

But, he said, “whether there’s a formal rotation established or not, I think the odds of Utah hosting multiple Games in the future is a distinct possibility. The reason for that is we meet all the IOC requirements,” which focus on sustainability, including having needed venues already in place, in addition to cold enough conditions.

Although Bullock said Utah would be “a strong long-term candidate” for future Winter Games, no decision has been made about getting in that race.


“The public is supportive but there would have to be a significant amount of work and study and strategy — strategic analysis around this — to determine how it could work and what the parameters would be, both from the side of the IOC as well as from Utah’s perspective,” he said. “We’d need to do all of our homework.”

Once there’s a plan in place for pursing more Olympics, bidders would then engage Utahns “to see if that made sense and would resonate with people. I personally think it would, because the Games are so popular.” Bullock said. “My initial bias would be strongly towards continuing to host Games long into the future, whether part of an official rotation or not.”

Gov. Spencer Cox said in March he believes Salt Lake City would be “well-positioned” to become a permanent Winter Games host.

The governor told reporters he’s aware of talk that “over the course of the next few years, the IOC will make a decision to kind of have a set group of cities that host the Olympics so that every 20 years, maybe, or every 16, we come back to these host cities, and that Salt Lake City will be one of those.”

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