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USOC to discuss winter Olympics bid

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is to discuss the possibility of a bid for the winter Olympics next month.

A bid is being considered for the 2026 or 2030 edition of the Games, with Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno, Nevada being lined up as potential hosts.

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun yesterday (Monday) said the organisation will discuss a potential bid at a board meeting on October 13.

The US is already due to stage the summer Olympics in 2028, with the city of Los Angeles to play host. No country has hosted back-to-back Olympics since before World War II.

The most recent winter Olympics took place in Sochi, Russia in 2014. The 2018 and 2022 editions of the Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea and the Chinese capital of Beijing, respectively.

USOC chairman Larry Probst, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), suggested a western location will be favoured for future editions of the Games. “I think (IOC president) Thomas Bach has publicly stated that he would like to see the winter Games return to a more traditional location,” Probst (pictured) said, according to the NBC Sports website.

“So, to me, that’s code for Europe or North America … We’ll have to monitor that, see what the situation looks like and then develop our strategy for whether we’re going to bid for the next winter Games (in 2026) or longer than that.”

The bidding process for the 2026 Games is set to officially commence this week, with the opening of the invitation phase on September 29. Christophe Dubi, executive director for the Olympic Games, this month said that talks were held at the IOC Session with Sion (Switzerland), Innsbruck (Austria), Calgary (Canada) and Stockholm (Sweden). The likes of Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Sapporo (Japan) have also expressed an interest in bidding.

An announcement on the host of the 2026 winter Olympics is expected in 2019. The US last staged the Games in 2002, when the event was held in Salt Lake City.