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IOC delaying decision on 2030 Winter Games host

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The IOC will not make a “final decision next year on which city should host the 2030 Winter Games,” citing “concerns about the impact of climate change on potential future hosts,” according to Lisa Riley Roche of the DESERET NEWS. The announcement also raised the “possibility not only that both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games could be awarded at the same times” but that there “could be new competition to the cities already in the race,” Salt Lake City; Sapporo, Japan; and Vancouver. Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games President & CEO Fraser Bullock said, “Our best-case scenario is a dual award because we know 2030 would be more challenging. If we have the opportunity to lock into 2034 earlier, that is a huge win for us.” IOC Olympic Games Exec Dir Christophe Dubi said that “much of the closed-door discussion among the executive board members focused on the uncertainties climate change is creating for the Winter Games.” Roche noted Salt Lake City is bidding for “both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games,” with a “stated preference to host in 2034 because of the feared financial impact” of back-to-back Olympics in the U.S., with L.A. already hosting the 2028 Summer Games. Sapporo has been seen as a “frontrunner in the race, but a growing Olympic bribery scandal” involving the 2020 Tokyo Games has “derailed support.” Vancouver had been thought to be “out of the running after British Columbia’s government refused to pledge” more than $1B in taxpayer funds. Bullock said that Utah bidders will “wrap up the details of both the 2030 and 2034 bids in the coming months” (DESERET NEWS, 12/6).

IN ROTATION: In Salt Lake City, Julie Jag noted the IOC has decided to “seriously consider a rotation of Winter Olympics hosts,” as climate change is “eroding its options” for hosts. IOC Dir of Future Olympic Games Hosts Jacqueline Barrett said the novel consideration “is to ensure there is a longtime future for winter sports and the winter sports industry.” Jag noted among the considerations the IOC may make in “determining what sites it will select for the rotation — if it does go that route — is whether the average temperature at the site over the past 10 years has been at or below freezing.” Bullock said that his group had “previously done an analysis of the state’s viability to host through 2050 and that it met ‘all of the criteria'” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/6).

One of the IOC’s potential considerations in choosing future hosts is whether the average temperature at the site over the past 10 years has been at or below freezingGetty Images

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