Salt Lake City, French Alps deliver penultimate Winter Olympics bid presentations to IOC on final lap to Paris election

The technical presentations Wednesday represented the first time the bids have been able to address the full IOC membership who will ultimately cast votes to ratify the projects with a July 24 vote

SLC-UT Chair Catherine Raney Norman (left) with CEO Fraser Bullock and IOC Future Host Commission Chair Karl Stoss at a Community Forum in Eccles Theatre downtown Salt Lake City (GamesBids photo)
SLC-UT Chair Catherine Raney Norman (left) with CEO Fraser Bullock and IOC Future Host Commission Chair Karl Stoss at a Community Forum in Eccles Theatre downtown Salt Lake City (GamesBids photo)

Bids to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2030 and 2034 virtually addressed the full International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership for the first time Wednesday with private technical presentations that will set the stage for likely elections next month.

The French Alps bid to host the Games in 2030, and the Salt Lake City – Utah bid for the 2034 edition were already approved by the IOC’s Executive Board this month and need only be ratified with a majority vote of approval from 100-or-so IOC members on July 24 in Paris, just ahead of the opening of the Summer Games.

The final presentations will take place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris immediately ahead of the vote.

“This is the first of two presentations to the full IOC membership,” President and CEO of SLC-UT 2030 Fraser Bullock said following the presentation.

“This presentation is the result of years of work and steps that we were able to be introduced to the full IOC membership for the first time today, and that presentation was the technical side.”

Topics included venues, experience, transportation, accommodation, governance and overall vision.

“July 24 will be the more inspirational side. They go together, two presentations just to give the IOC the full contents by which they can make their decision and vote.”

Last week the IOC released evaluation reports for both bids (Link to French Alps 2030; Link to SLC-UT 2034) that reflect work done by the Future Host Commission and include analyses of the bid books and on-site evaluations conducted in April. These reports are intended to be used by the IOC Members to arrive at their decisions.

Previous bid elections pitted final candidates against each other in rounds of voting until one had won a majority and was named host. But since 2019 a new process puts most of the control in the hands of the IOC Executives who now recommend a single finalist for election. Members do not vote against the Executive Board’s wishes and SLC-UT’s election is considered a rubber-stamping.

Bullock and his team are taking nothing for granted, he said “we are humble and hopeful. We believe we’re in excellent shape but until the vote is taken we are absolutely 100 percent focused on every element of our bid and making sure we do the absolute best that we can.”

That includes work on the July 24 presentation and the associated videos, slide decks and scripts that will make up the publicly livestreamed event, Bullock said.

There is also final work to be done on the Joint Marketing Partnership Agreement with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) that, according to Bullock, has been drafted and shared with the IOC. The IOC is expected to provide feedback on the document that will help define the relationship between the organizing committee and the national Olympic committee as the Games proceed.

Meanwhile in France, bid officials must wait out a parliamentary election ending July 7 and hope the new government signs the required Games Delivery Guarantee for French Alps 2030. Additionally, the IOC requires confirmation of a public partnership contribution to the Games organization budget from the two regions of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur and the French government. IOC Future Host Commission Chair Karl Stoss said he is confident both issues will be resolved ahead of the planned election.

Comments regarding Wednesday’s presentation from the French Alps bid were not immediately available.

Close to 100 members attended the online presentation chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach that, for SLC-UT, included 31 minutes of a slide presentation followed by a question and answer session.

SLC-UT received only one question, regarding the proposed Olympic Athlete Family Village plan that would be the first in Games’ history according to the bid. Bullock said “they love this initiative…they wanted to understand more.”

He said the rest of the time included “very positive comments.”

Along with Bullock, the SLC-UT delegation included USOPC chair and IOC member-elect Gene Sykes, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, SLC-UT chair Catherine Raney-Norman and bid lead Darren Hughes.

There are currently 107 active IOC members, but the vote will be taken among only those who are present at the Paris Session with two members from the United States and four representing France excluded due to Charter ethics rules. IOC President Thomas Bach typically excludes himself from the voting.

Voting is typically conducted by secret electronic ballot, however a tripartite agreement in 2017 that positioned Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 for election needed only a single vote that was conducted by a show of hands resulting in unanimous approval for both bids.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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