IOC selects French Alps and Salt Lake City as sole candidates for 2030 and 2034 Olympic Winter Games

Por AIPS América

21 de diciembre de 2023

Foto IOC

PARIS – The French Alps have been chosen as the preferred host for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games, while Salt Lake City was confirmed as the sole candidate for the 2034 edition. The International Olympic Committee executive board made this decision during its meeting in Paris on Wednesday, November 29. Karl Stoss, Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Winter Games said the IOC will now move into «targeted dialogue» with the two candidates.

DOUBLE ALLOCATION «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.

Last month the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai, India, approved a double allocation for the Olympic Winter Games in 2030 and in 2034 by the IOC Session in 2024, should the appropriate conditions exist.

WHAT STOOD OUT The French bid, launched in July, was chosen ahead of Switzerland and Sweden for the 2030 edition. But Salt Lake was alone in the race for the 2034 Games.

«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 said.

«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.»

France has hosted the Winter Games three times before: Chamonix in 1924, Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992 and Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

THE FRENCH ALPS For the 2030 Games, the Olympic village and international broadcast and media facilities would be located in the Mediterranean city of Nice, which would host skating events. Alpine skiing would take place around Meribel, Courchevel and Val d’Isere, while La Clusaz would host nordic events. 

SALT LAKE CITY The Salt Lake City bid which has been developed for years and nominated by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in 2018 looks to build on the legacies of the 2002 Games. To show how eager they are, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games even offered to host in 2030 if necessary. The 2034 Games will reuse many of the well maintained facilities from the 2002 Games. According to Stoss, these are some of the factors that contributed to their progress in the host selection process: «very compact master plan, no capital investment required, experience in hosting majore international events in most Winter Olympic sports, exceptional public support, and the highest level of national, state and city government support.»

PRIVILEGED DIALOGUE The Swiss bid was compensated with «privileged dialogue» status, which makes it the frontrunner for the 2038 Winter Games. Switzerland has until the end of 2027 to garner strong public and government support and also develop a more comprehensive master plan that brings the clusters closer together. But Sweden, which has now lost a second straight bid, was encouraged to «continue to strengthen their concept». Sweden has never hosted the Winter Games and overall this is its ninth failed bid. Stockholm hosted the Summer Games in 1912.

NEXT STEPS “They (the preferred hosts) have now to do their homework. The decision is not made yet. The work is not finished. But we have another six months to come to a decision,” Stoss said at the press conference following the announcement.

If the projects meet all the requirements, a recommendation could be made to the EB to forward them for election in July.

The Olympic Charter does not allow host elections within the borders of one of the candidates to avoid any conflicts-of-interest, but Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games Executive Director confirmed during the press conference that the election will go ahead in Paris since the French bid is the only candidate for the 2030 edition.

IOC Corporate Communications Director Christian Klaue explained on X (formerly Twitter): “As with the new approach to electing hosts and only one Preferred Host in the Targeted Dialogue, there is no risk of any unfair advantage or campaigning around a host election.”

SELECTION PROCESS The current process of electing Olympic and Paralympic hosts overseen by two permanent Future Host Commissions, one for Summer and one for Winter Games, involves four stages: informal exchange, continuous dialogue, targeted dialogue and host election. Following an informal exchange between the IOC and the NOC, together with the city or region, a potential host will become known as an “interested party” if it decides to enter a non-committal continuous dialogue with the IOC. In this second stage, the IOC offers the potential host support to explore and improve its Olympic project, without linking it to any specific Games edition or year. Political, environmental, socio-economic, human development and human rights contexts in relation to the Games’ organisation are taken into account when assessing the project of each potential host. “If the Future Host Commission determines that a project represents a strategic opportunity for the Olympic Movement, the Commission may recommend that the Executive Board open a Targeted Dialogue for a particular edition and year of the Games. If the EB agrees with the recommendation, it will open a Targeted Dialogue and invite one or more parties as Preferred Hosts into this next stage, which will be overseen by the Future Host Commission.”

TARGETED DIALOGUE Extensive consultation takes place during Targeted Dialogue as the IOC dives deeper into the project(s). Each Preferred Host has to respond to the Future Host Questionnaire, providing detailed plans and commitments regarding its project.

HOST ELECTION “At the end of a Targeted Dialogue, the Executive Board can put forward one or more Preferred Hosts for election by the IOC Session. If one or both parties feel the time is not right, or the conditions have not been met, the Future Host Commission can recommend the Preferred Host goes back to Continuous Dialogue.” The IOC Members vote by secret ballot and if elected, the Host will immediately sign the Olympic Host Contract with the IOC.

DECLINING OPTIONS The preliminary results of two studies at a sustainable future for the Olympic Winter Games show that due to climate change there are currently only 15 NOCs on three continents that already have at least 80 per cent of the venues required for the Olympic Winter Games and by 2040 the pool of potential hosts will reduce to around 10 NOCs.

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