Denver, Salt Lake City rumored to be eyeing 2026 Winter Olympics

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-15 11:10:38|Editor: Liangyu
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Officials and sports experts in Salt Lake City and Denver have begun discussing the possibility of bidding to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, local media reported recently.

According to Salt Lake Tribune and Denver Post, internal discussions on a bid for Olympics in both cities have been conducted although no country has hosted back to back games since World War II.

But the hope is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is ready to change the rules as they confirmed Paris and Los Angeles as the Summer Olympics host cities for 2024 and 2028 at the same time on Wednesday.

Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Games and has kept the infrastructure built for those games in great shape. It's the current home of the US ski and snowboard teams and is home to the main US speed skating and cross country skiing training facilities.

"We stand ready, willing and able when the time is right for the US to host a Winter Olympics," Colin Hinton, president of Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, was quoted as saying by Salt Lake Tribune.

"From my perspective, I will try and make the area the world's premier winter sports training and event destination. One day, if we do all that well, logic would say that a Games should come back here," Hinton added.

"If you have two American bids going on at the same time in the sponsorship world and negotiating certain things, it certainly would take some effort to figure out how to mitigate that so everyone is happy," said Utah Sports Commission president Jeff Robbins.

"But I think you never would've seen Pyeongchang, Tokyo and Beijing back-to-back-to-back ever historically. We know that the mold's been broken," he continued.

Denver is the only city to be awarded an Olympics, but decide to give up due to public outcry ahead of the 1976 Winter Games.

Denver is a larger city than Salt Lake and has comparable infrastructure. Denver's main drawbacks are that the closest mountain is about an hour west of the city and speedskating and ski jumping venues would all need to be built.