If Utah is going to host the Olympic Winter Games of 2026 or ever it would be nice if we had some snow. And it would be nice if we could see the snow, rather than have to imagine it behind or above a thick layer of polluted air.
The enthusiastic report of the ad hoc Olympic Exploratory Committee, released last week, paints a bright picture of what another Salt Lake City-based Winter Games could look like. There is the backing of state and local government, a high level of public support, a fleet of existing venues, businesses and volunteer networks that can be ramped up in plenty of time, and a good and growing transportation system. Those are all things that make another Olympic bid look good to the United States and International Olympic committees, because they bode well for the human part of the quadrennial festival of winter sports.
But the larger, environmental factors cannot be turned on, or off, so easily. The 2012 Utah ski season, for example, is off to a very slow start, hampered by the fact that there is little or no snow at many of the area's ski resorts. It's still early, and it is a status that might change rapidly. Or might not.