Salt Lake City has been chosen over Denver for the United States’ potential bid to host the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Friday.
“I’d like to thank Denver and Salt Lake City, and their respective leadership teams, for participating in this process and their commitment to make the Olympic and Paralympic movements stronger,” said USOC Chair Larry Probst in a news release. “We’re incredibly lucky to have multiple able and willing cities to choose from, but in the end, we believe Salt Lake City will give us the best chance to return the winter Games to the U.S.”
Salt Lake City was chosen after providing information about its transportation, infrastructure and proposed budget. Both Salt Lake City and Denver hosted Olympic officials last month.
Public polling was also conducted at the end of November, according to the news release.
This comes after a committee formed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock with the blessing of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) recommended that the Mile High City pursue a bid for the games.
Denver is notorious in Olympic history for being the only city to reject hosting the games. That happened in 1972, and Innsbruck, Austria ultimately hosted the Olympics instead.
Colorado’s Governor-Elect Jared Polis, also a Democrat, has said he would not support bringing the Olympics to Colorado. In a June debate on 9NEWS, Polis said he didn’t think Denver should even continue pursuing a bid.
“These are like fun things for millionaires and business people but it leaves the rest of us with the debt and the price tag,” Polis said.
Rob Cohen, the chair of the Denver and Colorado Winter Games Exploratory Committee, issued the following statement:
I’m proud of the new and unique model for hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that was developed by the Denver and Colorado Exploratory Committee and presented to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). We proposed hosting the Games in a new and innovative way, the Colorado Way, but we recognize that now may not be the right time for such a model.
It is disappointing that one of the world’s great winter sports destinations will not have the opportunity to partner with the USOC on a future bid, especially given that more than 60 percent of Colorado voters favor us hosting the Winter Games. Yet I believe that our community is better for having gone through this process as we continue to look forward and pursue opportunities to showcase our great city and state on the world stage. I’d like to personally congratulate Salt Lake City on its selection. We fully support the United States’ pursuit of a future Winter Games, as this is now America’s bid.