Salt Lake City’s 2030 Winter Olympic Prospect


Photo by Wikipedia

Rachel Van Leeuwen, Opinion/Editorial Editor

In 1985, Utah’s license plates first started to boast the slogan “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Just seventeen years later, Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, and now it looks like Salt Lake City is in the running for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado are competing to be the United States’ bidding city for the 2030 Winter Olympics. According to Deseret News, “The IOC [International Olympic Committee] is now expected to award the 2030 Winter Games in 2023.” Of course, if Salt Lake City was selected as the bidding city for the 2030 Winter Olympics, there is no guarantee that they will be selected by the IOC to host the games. However, Utahns are still hopeful that the Olympics will return to our state..

The Salt Lake Tribune said, “83 percent of residents statewide [say] they support Salt Lake City seeking to host the 2030 Games, according to a new poll for The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.”

Because of the 2002 Olympics, Salt Lake City has many Olympic facilities still in operation such as the Utah Olympic Oval and the Utah Olympic Park. This would ensure that the Olympics would cost less in the future than they did in 2002; although renovations would need to be done to turn Salt Lake into a city ready for the Olympics. According to the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, their mission is being “responsible for maintaining our Olympic facilities at world-class levels and using them to provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to watch, learn and excel in winter sports.” Even if Utah does not win the 2030 Winter Olympics, we will still benefit from the facilities that the 2002 games gave us.

According to KSL, “Official state estimates of the economic impact showed the Salt Lake Olympics yielded $100 million in profits, $4.8 billion in sales, 35,000 job years of employment and $1.5 billion in earnings for Utah workers during 2002. Since then, the state’s ski and lodging industries have enjoyed record-setting years, with a 42 percent increase in skier visits. Direct expenditures from skiers and snowboarders have increased 67 percent from $704 million in 2002-03 to $1.2 billion in 2010-11.” Utah has since benefitted from becoming a popular place for winter sports of every kind. Utahns and tourists alike enjoy the snow and facilities in Utah. Winter Olympic athletes come to Utah to train in between the games which occur every four years.

If Salt Lake City was selected to be the United States’ bidding city for the 2030 games, Utah would have a better chance of being the host chosen by the IOC. 2030 is more than a decade away, but the games will be back before we know it. Until then, watch your favorite winter sports in various venues around the world every four years.