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Salt Lake Olympic Bid Organizers Persevere Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

A man in a dark suit stands at a podium in front of an American flag
Gov. Gary Herbert's Twitter

The leaders of Utah’s new Olympic bid effort say they are continuing their campaign, even amid a pandemic.    That's the word from the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games.

The Committee’s Strategic Board met electronically on Wednesday.

The Board’s Chair, Cindy Crane, said that when they first met, it was a very different world.

“When we first convened in February of this year, we had no idea that a month later, our world would collapse and two months later, the Tokyo Games would be delayed.  Where we sit today, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring with the continuing uncertainty.  But we have now moved forward, and we’re moving on.  And we are adapting.  And we clearly are seeing that—with the resilience of our athletes, and the resilience of our communities as we move forward.  There are only a few things in our world that have stood the test of time like the Olympics.”

Colin Hilton, the President of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, is also a vice-chairman with the Salt Lake Committee.

He said that despite the coronavirus, they were able to offer training opportunities for Olympic athletes this summer.

“With the Covid pandemic, really we’re faced with one of the biggest challenges we’ve had, to maintain some semblance of athlete training at the facilities.  I’d like to report that, through the summer period, our Olympic-venue training environments were able to have minimal disruption.  And we were able to still keep the national teams for speed skating training at our Olympic oval, to have our ski and snowboard athletes practicing their back flips into the free-style pool at the Utah Olympic Park or giant air bags on the side of our mountains.”

The Salt Lake Committee aims to work with organizations like the U. S.  Olympic and Paralympic Committee, (or USOPC.) to go after either the 2030  or 2034 Winter Olympics.   

Frasier Bullock, who is President and CEO for the Salt Lake Committee, talked about what’s next for them.

“Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, we are partnering with the USOPC, and together dialoguing with the IOC and IPC to determine which future games to pursue.  There’s a lot of work that’s been going on here.  It’s very deep, it’s very engaged.  It’s almost every day.  And once we get through that phase, then Phase Two is to partner with the USOPC for a specific Games.  So our ongoing work since February is that ongoing dialogue.  It is an ongoing budget foundation development.  It’s that foundation.   Still a lot of work to do.   There’s a lot of focus on risk mitigation.  But ultimately, through all this work, we want to be prepared to move forward, when it’s appropriate for which Games, and remain ready, willing and able.”

Frasier Bullock, President of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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