An IOC delegation will be in Utah this week to visit venues for a 2034 Winter Olympics. Here’s where they’re headed next

The Olympic cauldron from the 2002 Winter Games is pictured at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Oct. 31, 2022.
The Olympic cauldron from the 2002 Winter Games is pictured at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Oct. 31, 2022.

The delegation from the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee that’s headed to Utah this week to tour proposed venues for a 2034 Winter Games will be in France later this month to do the same for that country’s 2030 Winter Games bid.

The IOC announced Monday that IOC members who serve on the Future Host Commission, along with executives and staff, will visit the French Alps and other locations in France April 22-26 that would be used for a Winter Games, “to provide a deep dive into the proposal and the local context, with a view to election by the IOC Session in July.”

Both bids already have been named preferred hosts by IOC leaders — Salt Lake City-Utah, for 2034, and the French Alps, for 2030 — under the new, less formal selection process that, if all goes well, will end with the formal award of the two Olympics when the IOC meets in Paris before the start of the 2024 Summer Games in the French capital.

The findings from the visits, which start in Utah with the delegation’s arrival late Tuesday and continue through midday Saturday, will go into a report from the Future Host Commission to the IOC Executive Board in June. If the IOC leaders give the go-ahead, the full membership will vote on the sites on July 24, celebrated as Pioneer Day in Utah.

Utah, the host of the 2002 Winter Games, has been bidding for another Olympics for more than a decade. A venue plan for 2034 released last week utilizes sites from the previous Games that have continued to be used by community and elite athletes, thanks in part to taxpayer investments in recent years that may end up exceeding $140 million.

In contrast, the French Alps bid is less than a year old and is spread through both the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, from 1924 Winter Games host Chamonix in the north to the beachside city of Nice on the French Riviera in the south.

It’s not clear how many specific venues have been identified for 2030. France’s bid submission to the IOC in February was described as featuring a map of sites yet to evolve by the French ski magazine, Ski Chrono, part of a 55-page file and 32 pages of annexes. Utah’s bid file was said to contain more than 30,000 words plus 343 pages of annexes.

But the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, Renaud Muselier, has insisted France “will be ready” to host in 2030. Muselier, who was in Utah in January as part of a trade delegation, dismissed the possibility that Salt Lake City might be needed as a backup for 2030 should the French bid falter.

In Utah, the IOC delegation’s first stop will be the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, where opening and closing ceremonies were held in 2002 and would be again in 2034. Over three days, they’ll hit venues including the Utah Olympic Park’s sliding track near Park City, Snowbasin near Huntsville and the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.

The more than a dozen members of the IOC delegation also will hear from the community, government and sport leaders Thursday at the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City, during an invitation-only community forum on the “Olympic Journey in Utah,” moderated by Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the U.

Before leaving Saturday, the chairman of the Future Host Commission, Austrian IOC member Karl Stoss, and IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, are set to hold a press conference, along with leaders of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee as well as the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games that’s behind the bid.