By Chris King •
Updated: 29 Nov 2023 • 22:06
Image of the Winter Olympics logo in Canada.
Credit: Eug Png/Shutterstock.com
The French Alps and Salt Lake City in the US were confirmed respectively this Wednesday, November 29, as the sole candidates for the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.
Karl Stoss, the head of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) future host commission, said Olympic chiefs would now move into ‘targeted dialogue’ with the two candidates.
‘The IOC will now start more detailed discussions with the Preferred Hosts, led by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), with the aim of awarding both editions at the 142nd IOC Session in July in Paris’, the IOC said in a statement.
Today’s decision was announced at the expense of Sweden and Switzerland, the two other candidates. Salt Lake City was the only candidate to launch a bid to host the 2034 Games.
Last month, the IOC said that it was aiming to make a double award by picking the 2030 and 2034 hosts together in July when about 100 members meet in Paris on the eve of the 2024 Summer Games. That plan could now change to avoid a conflict for IOC members to have to vote for a French bid in its capital city.
France has hosted the Winter Games on three previous occasions. Chamonix was the location in 1924, Grenoble in 1968, and Albertville in 1992. Salt Lake City previously hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The French bid for the 2030 Games is based around the resorts of Meribel, Courchevel and Val d’Isere for alpine skiing while La Clusaz would host the Nordic events. Skating events would take place in the Mediterranean city of Nice, which would also act as the Olympic Village.
‘What really stood out about the French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah projects was their vision for the athlete experience, their alignment with regional and national socio-economic development plans, and their very strong support from the public and from all levels of government’, Stoss explained.
He continued: ‘The Commission felt strongly that the other Interested Parties would benefit from more time to optimise the athlete experience of their future Games, and to continue to build on their burgeoning foundations of public and political support’.
An olive branch was extended to Switzerland by the OIC, with the commission head Stoss saying that the Swiss would now enter ‘privileged dialogue’ for a bid for the 2038 Games.
“The IOC EB (executive board) decided to grant the non-edition-specific project, Switzerland 203x, a special status by inviting it into ‘Privileged Dialogue’ for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2038′, the IOC added.
While praising Switzerland’s many existing venues and great experience in hosting international winter sport events, Stoss commented: ‘They have to do their homework first. They have to show us a more convincing venue plan’, adding that there also needed to be a proper Olympic Village.
In a boost for the Swiss, the IOC said it would not engage in discussions with other potential hosts for the 2038 Winter Games during the privileged dialogue which will last to the end of 2027, lemonde.fr reported.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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