Gov. Cox “confident” about SLC Olympic bid after IOC meeting
Nov 21, 2023, 2:09 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm
(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he felt confident about Salt Lake City’s chances of hosting the Olympics once again following a meeting with the International Olympic Committee. Cox and other members of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games met with the IOC Tuesday morning to check in on the city’s bid.
Cox told Dave and Dujanovic that Tuesday’s meeting was a well-received “final pitch” to the IOC.
“I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that we will get either the 2030 or 2034 [Games].”
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games has said it would prefer the 2034 Games but that decision comes down to the IOC.
Cox said they’d find out if Salt Lake has moved to the next stage within the next few weeks. If the city’s bid moves to that next stage, Cox said that would be a “good sign” that Salt Lake would host the Olympics again.
Salt Lake City has proven it can successfully host big events, Gov. Cox said, using the NBA All-Star Weekend in February as an example.
As more proof that Utah is already on the radar, the governor pointed to yesterday’s news that the University of Utah would host a 2024 presidential debate next October.
What the SLC Olympic bid looks like a second time around
Cox said that the current bid is intentionally very different than the bid made for the 2002 Olympics. This time around, the bid focuses on the fact that Salt Lake City already hosted the Games successfully.
Salt Lake hosted the 2002 Winter Games just months after the 9/11 attacks.
“To have it all come together under some of the most difficult circumstances we’ve ever seen in the Olympics, that engenders a level of trust,” Cox said.
On top of that, the city already has infrastructure in place from the 2002 Games.
With infrastructure taken care of, and experience on its side, Utah could focus on what the Games stand for, Cox said. It could focus on the athletes and their families and on bringing people together.
“I made a promise to them [the IOC] that in 2034, no matter how crazy and chaotic the world is, that Utah will be a place where people can seek refuge where people can come together, where you can unify,” Cox said.
Related reading: SLC inching closer to 2034 Olympic bid