Lindsey Vonn to pitch Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid to IOC

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Lindsey Vonn will be part of a Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid team meeting with the IOC at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, from June 15-16.

Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Winter Games, is among the candidates to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics and is in a dialogue phase with the IOC, as are at least Sapporo, Japan, and Vancouver.

“We are focused on 2030,” Fraser Bullock, the president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said in a board meeting Thursday. “Everything we do, every contract we sign, is all focused on 2030. But it also has a provision for 2034.”

Salt Lake City bid officials expect the IOC to choose a city or cities for a more targeted dialogue phase for at least 2030 in December and a host city election next May 30 or June 1.

The IOC keeps a flexible process on choosing its Olympic hosts. In the past, hosts were chosen via IOC members vote seven years ahead of time, and that could still be how the 2030 host is picked.

Vonn, who retired in 2019 as the most successful female Alpine skiing World Cup racer, made her Olympic debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games at age 17.

“She was instantaneously, ‘Absolutely! How can I be involved?'” Catherine Raney-Norman, the Salt Lake bid chair and a retired Olympic speed skater, said Thursday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “I think she’s going to share an incredibly unique experience as an athlete, as a global leader in sport, as a champion of mental health. And I think it’s going to be a huge thing.”

The Salt Lake City plan has called for using 100 percent existing venues, largely thanks to the 2002 Games, the last time that the U.S. put forth a Winter Olympic bid.

In December 2018, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chose Salt Lake City over Denver for a potential Winter Olympic bid. Entering the IOC dialogue phase more than two years ago showed the USOPC’s commitment to pursuing the city’s candidature.

If successful, the U.S. could host consecutive Olympics, given the 2028 Summer Games were awarded to Los Angeles. No nation has hosted back-to-back Olympics since World War II.

“We recognize the back-to-back Games are challenging,” Bullock said. “Geopolitically, it’s hard for the IOC to award back-to-back Games in the U.S., for ’28 and for ’30. We know that that’s hard. But we also recognize there are opportunities through back-to-back Games.”

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Lindsey Vonn to pitch Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid to IOC originally appeared on NBCSports.com