Winter Games • Committee wrapping up recommendation to do it again whenever.
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The Olympic Exploratory Committee is aiming at a mid- to late-September release of a report recommending the state and Salt Lake City formally let the U.S. Olympic Committee know Utah is ready, willing and able to host another Winter Games.
Consultant Grant Thomas, who is assembling the committee's report to Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, said he will give another massage to the draft report reviewed Friday by the Exploratory Committee, incorporating whatever new comments were made in a closed session.
Then, barring any last-minute issues, the report will be delivered next month to all committee members, including co-chairs Becker and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who will accept it on behalf of the governor. The report also will be released to the public then, Thomas said.
The delivery has become a little anti-climactic since the U.S. Olympic Committee said in July it will bypass an opportunity to have an American candidate city for the 2022 Winter Games. The USOC wants to spend the fall evaluating its strategy for hosting future Olympics.
That means the earliest Salt Lake City could bid again would be for the 2026 Winter Games, a host-city decision the International Olympic Committee will make in 2019. The competition between American cities for the nomination Denver, Reno-Tahoe and Bozeman, Mont., also have expressed interest would not begin until 2016, possibly late 2015, so there will be several years in which the bid will be dormant, Bell noted.
Thomas said the report will emphasize the sustainability of Utah's Olympics-related venues and their consistent use since the 2002 Winter Games.
During this summer's London Olympics, a number of news media stories focused on recent host cities whose Olympic venues have fallen into disuse and become dilapidated after short-lived success.
"Part of our story is our legacy," Thomas said, referring to year-round usage of Utah Olympic Park's jumping and sliding venues and U.S. speedskating's year-round presence at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns. "We have a good business plan," he added. "The facilities are still here, still active, being used, sustainable. It's important for us to maintain that."
The competition to stage the 2020 Summer Olympics, the next to be awarded by the International Olympic Committee, is down to Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. That decision will be made next year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.