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Gov. Cox calls Olympics a ‘smart investment,’ hopes to become part of rotation

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks with reporters at the monthly news conference Thursday.
PBS Utah
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks with reporters at his monthly news conference.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox recently praised the state’s ability to host the Olympics in 2034 and beyond.

Gov. Cox said Thursday more countries would be vying to host the Olympics if they were in the same position as Utah.

“I promise you that if every country had the infrastructure that we had, they would see it as a smart investment,” Cox said. “The reason that some countries have decided not to do it is because they have to build all of these venues. And that’s very expensive, and then the venues don’t get used, and they end up getting torn down. And that’s clearly a waste… We are so fortunate not to have that problem or issue.”

The International Olympic Committee has named Salt Lake City as the preferred host for the Winter Olympics in 2034, but that won’t be officially decided until the summer. The IOC has not officially recognized any other host cities for the 2034 Games.

The IOC has discussed establishing a rotation of hosts for the Winter Games, amid concerns about climate change and declining snowfall.

Cox said Utah could be a contender in that cycle.

“My hope is, and there’s certainly been talk of this, that over the course of the next few years that the IOC will make a decision to kind of have a set group of cities to host the Olympics. So that every 20 years maybe, or every 16, we come back to these host cities and that Salt Lake City will be one of those. I can envision one where you have an Asian Winter Games, a European Winter Games, a North American Winter Games.”

The governor said he hopes to be in Paris this summer when the IOC is expected to award the 2034 Olympics on Pioneer Day, July 24.