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Volume 24 No. 219
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Salt Lake City Forms Exploratory Olympic Committee To Bid On '26 Or '30 Winter Games

A group of business, community and elected state leaders from Utah yesterday announced the "formation of an official Olympic/Paralympic Exploratory Committee (OEC), a likely step toward launching a bid for a second Olympics in Utah" -- in either '26 or '30, according to a front-page piece by Kamrani & Gorrell of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Over the next few months, the exploratory committee will "examine whether the state should submit Salt Lake City’s name as a potential bidder." Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins said, "The venues are in good shape. We need a little bit of sprucing up and a little bit of refurbishing, but they’re being utilized. For us, we’re so far ahead of the competition, both from a financial standpoint but also because our venues are built. We probably can use all of the same venues, or certainly most of them, with much less cost than another city would have." The USOC on Friday said that it was "interested in bidding for an upcoming Winter Olympics." The OEC will be co-chaired by Robbins, Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and Fraser Bullock, who served as Salt Lake Organizing Committee COO in '02. U.S. Speedskating Association President Mike Plant and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association Chair Dexter Paine will serve as committee Vice Chairs. Kamrani & Gorrell note the Austrian city of Innsbruck "dropped out after residents in its region voted against going for the Olympics again" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 10/17). Bullock said that the OEC's goal is to "decide by Feb. 1 whether to bid" for the Winter Games. He added that Salt Lake City had been looking primarily at the '30 Winter Games, but that "changed after the Austrian referendum." In Utah, Lisa Riley Roche notes Salt Lake City "faces competition from Denver and the Reno-Tahoe area for the U.S. host city nomination" (DESERET NEWS, 10/17).