As the PyeongChang Olympics Begin, a Movement Is Underway to Bring the Winter Games Back to the U.S.
The 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony takes place Friday night in PyeongChang, but some sports fans are already looking far down the road in hopes of bringing the games back to the U.S.
Salt Lake City, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002, has put its hat back in the ring for the 2026 or 2030 Games. If it succeeds, that will put it in a fairly exclusive club.
Only seven cities have hosted the Olympic Games more than once: Athens (1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics), Paris (1900, 1924, and 2024 Summer Olympics), London (1908, 1948, and 2012 Summer Olympics), St. Moritz (1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics), Lake Placid (1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics), Los Angeles (1932, 1984, and the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympics), and Innsbruck (1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics).
By 2026, two more cities—Tokyo (1964 and 2020 Summer Olympics) and Beijing (summer games 2008, winter games 2022)—will join that list.
“We are in a great, tremendous position to host the Winter Olympics again,” said Utah Governor Gary Herbert. “We did it once. We can certainly do it twice.”
While other cities are shying away from hosting future Olympics because of the exorbitant costs, there’s widespread support throughout Utah for hosting the game there. Some 83% of residents say they back the idea in a poll from The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
Ultimately, the decision to pursue the games is less up to Utah, though, and more the call of the U.S. Olympic Committee. That group has until the end of March to submit Salt Lake City as a bid city for the 2026 Games (which, given the dealmaking of host cities of late, it would need to do in order to also be considered for the 2030 games).
Regardless of which city will be chosen to host the next Winter Olympics, the Summer Games will take place in the U.S. in 2028, when they’re hosted by Los Angeles.