SALT LAKE CITY — It doesn't take much effort to find someone who wants the Winter Olympics to make a Beehive State return.
“We think Utah is probably the best place in the world to host winter Olympic games,” said Fraser Bullock, the President & CEO of the Salt Lake City–Utah Committee for the Games.
Colleagues have called Bullock, the ‘Mr. Olympics of Utah’ for his dedication to the previous games in 2002 and his pursuit for another games in Utah in the future.
This week, the International Olympic Committee has a delegation in town visiting competition, ceremony and athlete village venues that could be a part of a 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games is hosting the visit along with representatives from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
“The IOC is in town to conduct a technical review of all of our venues to see what’s in place and what’s not,” said Bullock. "Fortunately, in Utah we have everything in place, our venues are gorgeous."
The IOC visited Vivint Arena, Rice-Eccles Stadium and the athlete village at University of Utah on Wednesday. The following days they’ll visit Snowbasin Resort, venues in Park City as well as in Provo and West Valley City.
The Olympic Oval hosts speed skating championships each year and is the site of world record skating. It’s also a venue that has hosted the 2002 Olympics.
“We are ready to host the games, it’s not if, it’s when, and hopefully it’s 2030,” said Derek Parra, who won a gold and bronze medal in speed skating in the 2002 games.
Parra coaches and oversees events and operation at the Oval.
“Hopefully, I guess my goal is that they see that we’re committed to sport, we have been the state of sport, we’ve been in the Paralympic and Olympic movement for over 20 years and we are still doing it right now today.”
According to the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, they’ll submit information for a bid in the summer and are hoping for a venue announcement in May of 2023.
“If we do have another one here it will be top tier and it will be one of those Olympics that we all remember because it was so epic,” said Colby Stevenson, a silver medalist in the 2022 Big Air event in Beijing.
Stevenson has lived in Utah since 2001 and calls Park City home.
“I think another games in Utah would honestly be better than a lot of other places in the whole world, just because we have the mountains, we have the facilities, we have the snow, you know after going to China it was just like, I can’t believe there’s a winter Olympics going on here, there’s no natural snow, it was freezing cold it just didn’t seem like the right environment for us to perform at our best,” he said.
Salt Lake City and the state of Utah as a whole is a unique candidate with all of its 2002 venues, including the athlete village, available for 2030 with most having been in continual use with national and international events.
Since the 2002 Games, Utah has continued to serve as Team USA athletes and also to attract athletes from around the world to make the state their training base.