Salt Lake City Council votes to pursue Winter Olympic bid as IOC rules out 2026 back-up

The Salt Lake City Council has approved a resolution supporting an “expression of interest” agreement with the United States Olympic Committee, formalising its interest in bidding to host the Winter Olympic Games in the near future.

USOC had set a deadline of Friday for cities to submit bid documents. Denver, Colorado is also expected to declare its interest, but USOC has indicated it will only support one bid.

USOC announced the abbreviated bid process in October, and is expected to name a winner in December. While the primary intention is to select a city to bid for the Winter Olympics in 2030, the accelerated process is thought to be with one eye on providing the IOC with a viable back-up for the 2026 Games.

The two remaining bids for that event, Stockholm and Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, both face challenges.

IOC president Thomas Bach yesterday ruled out a similar proposal from Barcelona-Pyrenees, which is also looking to the 2030 Games but had put itself forward as an extra candidate for 2026. Bach said the Games would go to one of the two existing candidates and that there was “no plan B”.