Gov. Herbert signs resolution for Utah 2026, 2030 Olympic bid

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U.S. champion Michelle Kwan practices for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. Utah’s Olympic Exploratory Committee plans to bid for the 2026 or 2030 winter games. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, ceremoniously signed a concurrent resolution saying Utah is “ready, willing, and able” to host another winter Olympic Games, setting the stage for an Olympic exploratory committee to explore bidding for the 2026 or 2030 Winter games.

During the signing ceremony Feb. 7, Fraser Bullock, co-chair of the committee, gave a summary of the report. He said they plan to participate in the bidding process for 2026 because there is potential for a dual award, like the awards of Paris and Los Angeles for the summer Olympics.

Their goal is 2030, but they believe that being part of the 2026 process will give them a better chance, according to Bullock. Bullock was also the chief operating and financial officer for the 2002 games.

The resolution Herbert signed, SCR9, will be sent to the USOC and International Olympic Committee, along with the committee’s report, showing the support of the Legislature and governor in pursuing the Olympics. Senate Pres. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, gave a report of the resolution on the Senate floor Feb. 6.

“It’s clear,” Niederhauser said. “Utah is ready, willing and very able to do another winter Olympics.”

In the committee, Bullock’s summary showed that Salt Lake is a strong candidate because all the necessary facilities are already here. He said they have a budget of $1.353 billion, and they can break-even or better with that budget.

Niederhauser addressed the budget as well, and said because this isn’t the first time Utah has taken on the Olympics, they know what it takes and what it will cost.

“The numbers are very conservative, as far as revenue is concerned,” Niederhauser said. “We can put the games on very well, probably better than anyone in the world, and in a most economical manner.”

Herbert said the committee has always known Utah would be up to the challenge, but now they’ve made the report and proven that their opinion is based on data.

“We did it before, maybe the best winter Olympics ever in the history of Olympic sport,” he said. “So if we did it once, we can certainly do it twice.”

Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski is on the committee as well. She said she agrees the 2002 games were immensely successful, and brought a rich cultural experience to Utah.

The committee conducted a poll and 89 percent of those surveyed support the bid.

Niederhauser said both the USOC and IOC had a tremendous experience with Utah doing the games, and are very open to the possibility again.

The committee with know by March 31 whether the bid will be just for the ’26 games, or whether it will be a dual bid.

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