Six cities in running to stage 2022 Winter Olympics
Sports • SLC interested in 2026 Games — if USOC pursues them.
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While Salt Lake City boosters wait on the sidelines, six cities are competing to stage the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee received applications by Thursday's filing deadline from Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow/Jasna (a joint Polish/Slovak bid), Lviv (Ukraine), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden).

Oslo, which previously staged the 1952 Winter Olympics, is considered a front-runner in the early stages of the competition, which concludes in July 2015 with the IOC's selection of a host city.

Beijing and Stockholm are seeking to become the first cities to stage both Winter and Summer Games. Stockholm played host to the Summer Olympics in 1912, Beijing in 2004.

Salt Lake City, with the state's support, has expressed interest in bidding for the Games as early as 2026 — or whenever the U.S. Olympic Committee decides to pursue another Winter Olympics.

Last year, the USOC decided not to put forth a candidate city in 2022. It is now conferring with several large American cities about the possibility of going after the 2024 Summer Olympics.

If a 2024 bid is staged, it is unlikely the USOC would pursue a Winter Olympics bid at the same time, pushing back Salt Lake City's shot at the international stage to 2030 at the earliest.

The 2014 Winter Olympics will take place in February in Sochi, Russia.

The 2018 Winter Games are in PyeongChang, South Korea.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg