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Utah athletes, Olympians and officials prep for Paris IOC final presentation

Utah’s Olympic Bid Committee will lead a delegation of more than 100 to Paris for the final bid presentation to the International Olympic Committee on July 24.

The IOC will vote on whether to return the Winter Games to Utah in 2034 as soon as the bid committee makes its last pitch. Utah is widely expected to earn the IOC’s vote.

In addition to Utah’s committee President Fraser Bullock, and board chair Catherine Raney Norman, Utah’s governor and Salt Lake City’s mayor will be part of the final presentation, along with the president of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic committee. Also addressing the IOC on Utah’s behalf are Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn and Paralympian Dani Aravich.

Olympic officials made the announcement Tuesday at The Gateway in Salt Lake City.

Bullock, who was also on Utah’s organizing committee in 2002, said he gets chills thinking about being in Paris two weeks from now.

“Hopefully you can feel our passion and emotion," Bullock said. "I think our biggest challenge is not to cry because sometimes when I see this imagery and hear other people speak about it, it just tugs at my heart.”

He said Utah is excited to welcome the world back for a second Games.

“We welcome families from around the world," Bullock said. "We envision having an athletes’ families village where the families can gather from around the world and get to know families from other countries and we facilitate things for them to be able to buy affordable tickets.” 

Park City Mayor Nann Worel will be among the elected officials in Paris awaiting the decision, along with members of the Utah Legislature and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

The delegation is also bringing Olympic champions Jimmer Fredette, Erin Jackson, Kaysha Love and Derek Parra as well as Paralympic champions Brittani Coury and Chris Waddell.

Love said her very first run down a bobsled track was in Park City. She said it was “terrifying” but reignited a passion for competition she’d felt as a gymnast and runner.

“I wasn’t sure if this was for me and I remember thinking these people are crazy and in that moment something occurred to me,” she said. “And that fear soon turned to passion and motivation and I realized that this could be my avenue to become something bigger than I wanted to, to pursue the dreams that I always wanted and to be a part of my community in a way that I never once imagined.”

Three youth athletes who are active in local sports programs and aiming to compete in the 2034 Olympics will also go to Paris to support the bid.

Figure skater turned speed skater Emma De Bock; Kate Pressgrove, a Youth Sports Alliance figure skater from Heber; and Orson Colby, a YSA luge athlete from Riverton.