Utah Olympic Committee Moving Forward With Securing An Olympic Games
The Salt Lake City Olympic committee was formed earlier this year – and had met once in February just before the pandemic started. The team is back to business.
The team is led by Fraser Bullock who serves as President and CEO of the Olympic Committee. Colin Hilton, the CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and Jeff Robinson, Director of the Utah Sports Commission serve as vice chairs. Cindy Crane serves as board chair. After spending 30 years in the energy business with PacifiCorp – the parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, Crane moved to Utah in 2009. She had spent a week in Utah during the 2002 games and when she was asked by Governor Herbert to chair the committee, she says she was excited to do so.
The committee’s purpose she says is to prepare for and decide if they will bid and which games they will bid on.
“The committee is very much about a bid,” she said, “so it's a bid committee. It’s not the actual organizing committee of the games which would then be fully constituted once we are awarded a winter Olympic games.”
The committee has kept a low profile but has been working during the pandemic...
“We have continued to work through the pandemic,” she said... “working closely with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. And at the present time you know we are formulating our strategy with them to determine which of the future game opportunities - whether it be 2030 or 2034 - which one really makes most sense for Utah and U.S. athletes.”
Two advisory committees have also been formed – the Utah athletes advisory council co-chaired by Park City resident Chris Waddell and the host cities committee co-chaired by Park City Mayor Andy Beerman.
Utah is America’s choice for an upcoming winter Olympics, but Crane says there is no formal timeline from the International Olympic Committee for deciding future host cities.
The committee she says sent a letter to the IOC letting them know that Utah is ready, willing, and able to host a future Winter Olympics.
“And we got a very quick response and very supportive response acknowledging Salt Lake City and Utah,” she said. “So, we're excited about that we've made our intentions well known and official and we look forward to engaging with them when they are ready to fully engage. As you might expect, they are quite occupied with the Tokyo 2020 moving to 2021 as a result of the pandemic. We just continue to do our work and remain ready, willing, and able.”
The venues from 2002 have been well maintained so Crane says they’re way ahead of the game. If the state needs to bond to build any additional venues she says isn’t known at this point.
“We will look at anything that is needed to be put in place,” she said, “but we haven't identified any significant bonding at this early stage.”
While a statewide survey was done a few years ago by Olympic proponents showing great support for hosting another games – she says it appears there is still a lot of support.
“We are very confident that there's still a very high interest in the community,” Crane said. “And I know the work that our host venue - the cities and communities committee - I know that they are definitely feeling it with the vibe in their communities and so we haven't seen a decline in interest in this at this early stage.”
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee will analyze the pros and cons for both 2030 and 2034 bids, then make recommendations to local and state leadership. From there, the committee and state will work with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which will take the bid to the IOC.