International Olympic Committee concludes tour calling Salt Lake City a future ‘role model’

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The International Olympic Committee spent the past week in Salt Lake City, and committee members say what they saw exceeded their expectations.

IOC members from seven different countries toured past and potential Olympic venues in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas, wrapping up the tour with a press conference Saturday at Olympic Cauldron Park.

The tour was part of the committee’s final visit to Salt Lake City before deciding which cities will host the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.

Fraser Bullock, President and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said the tour went exceptionally well.

“When I look at how … the last several days went on a scale of one to ten. It’s a 15,” Bullock said at the press conference.

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Bullock continued to say IOC members told him that Salt Lake City “undersold [the venues] in the bid,” as they were even better than the Utah Olympic Commission described them in the 5,000-page bid submitted prior to the IOC visit.

During the conference, committee members said they were impressed with the lasting infrastructure from the 2002 games and the venues’ proximity to the Olympic Village, even going as far as to say Salt Lake City could serve as a model to the IOC in the future.

“Congratulations to Salt Lake City and Utah. You will become a role model also for the IOC,” said Chairman of the IOC Future Olympic Games Karl Stoss.

The venue tour lasted four days, kicking off Wednesday morning and concluding Saturday. Many of the venues they visited have been maintained for 22 years since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, such as the Olympic Oval and Soldier Hollow.

“We could feel the enthusiasm and the spirit of Utah,” Stoss said. “The spirit from the Games from 2002 is still here.”

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That enthusiasm was just as impactful to some committee members as the venues and infrastructure itself.

“Personally, what surprised me most was the passion that still exists here for the Olympic Winter Games 22 years later, in the people, everywhere we went,” said Jacqueline Barrett, the IOC Future Olympic Games Hosts Director.

The IOC will announce the locations of the upcoming 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympics Games during the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. While the answer to whether Salt Lake City will be hosting another Olympics is still up in the air for a few months, it appears the IOC tour could not have gone better.

“This has been one of the best weeks of my life, it literally has been,” Bullock said. “I started tearing up because it’s been so fantastic and vulnerable, and feeling the power of the movement, we’re just so lucky to be part of it.”

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