Salt Lake City-Utah moves closer to hosting second Winter Games of the century. SALTLAKE2024

The Olympic Bid Committee has taken another step towards securing the 2034 Olympic Winter Games for Salt Lake City-Utah, building on its successful bid in February 2002.

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Future Host Commission visited the Park City area and Wasatch County during an important tour last April. This visit allowed them to see the proposed venues first-hand, meet the organisers and experience the legacy of the Games held earlier in the century.

As time goes on, all signs point to the western US state winning the bid for the 2034 Games.

The recent visit by the Future Host Commission, led by President Karl Stoss and accompanied by other senior executives, including Christophe Dubi, was a success. The Salt Lake City Utah Games Committee is in an excellent position to be formally selected as the host of the fifth Olympic Winter Games in the United States on 24 July in Paris.

Last Tuesday, Park City Mayor Nann Worel joined the presenters of the Salt Lake City-Utah 2034 Bid Plan. It was one of the many formal steps needed to achieve the goal of hosting the Games for the second time this century.

The Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee reaffirmed its plan to elevate sport and enhance the experience for athletes and the community. Their compelling and sustainable plan includes venues within an hour's drive of the Olympic Village, which is unusual for such events.

The climate in this North American region is also a major advantage. With abundant snowfall from November to April, there would be no need for environmentally unfriendly measures such as the artificial snow tracks seen in Beijing 2022, which used a lot of energy and were somewhat at odds with current IOC trends.

"The living legacy created in 2002 continues to resonate in Utah today across all sports planned for 2034," said Colin Hilton, President and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.

This legacy, along with the benefits of the venues' proximity to the Olympic Village, is another key consideration for current IOC leaders.

Hilton is well aware of this, and often emphasises that it is a strong argument for bringing the Games back to Utah. Presenting proven and experienced venues for each sport, close to the Village, is another advantage in convincing the Winter Sports Federations of the benefits.

The leaders of the seven International Winter Sports Federations, including Ivo Ferriani, IOC member and President of both the Olympic Winter Sports Federations and the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, participated in the virtual presentation organised by the Olympic Winter Sports Federations.

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee President Gene Sykes set the tone, highlighting the strong leadership of SLC-UT 2034 and a community fully committed to the bid.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall emphasised how the 2034 Games will act as a catalyst for the future development of communities. Worel spoke about the community sports culture that has developed in the Greater Park City area, which will host a wide range of events. A key component of the presentation was to engage the international federation leaders in the SLC-UT 2034 vision.

President and CEO Fraser Bullock, along with SLC-UT 2034 Board Chair Catherine Raney Norman, presented a vision focused on enhancing communities, sport and the Games experience. One of SLC-UT 2034's key initiatives is to use the Winter Games platform to strengthen collaboration with communities and help them achieve their own goals, they said.

The four-time Olympic champion provided a much-needed sporting perspective to these processes. From improving services to exploring the possibility of a Family Village for athletes, they emphasised that beyond the wins and losses of games and competitions, sport helps to shape individuals.

Salt Lake City, Utah's venue plan is one of the most sustainable in history. It includes the use of 11 existing and operational venues, as well as temporary venues at the Salt Palace Convention Centre for curling and the dual use of Block 85 (the northeast block of the Delta Center) for both the Medal Plaza and Big Air.

The Future Host Commission will submit its reports and recommendations to the IOC Executive Board. SLC-UT 2034 officials are optimistic of a positive report at the virtual meeting scheduled for 12-14 June.

Following this report, the Executive Board members will decide whether to propose Salt Lake City-Utah 2034 for selection at the 142nd IOC Session in Paris on Wednesday, 24 July.