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Winter Olympic bids approved by IOC Executives, clearing the way for French Alps 2030 and Salt Lake City 2034 elections July 24

The recommendation of the French Alps bid is contingent on the delivery of outstanding guarantees and financial commitments

IOC President Thomas Bach delivers opening remarks at Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 12, 2024 (IOC video screen capture)
IOC President Thomas Bach delivers opening remarks at Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 12, 2024 (IOC video screen capture)

A pair of Olympic and Paralympic bids – French Alps for 2030 and Salt Lake City for 2034 – are now one step away from signing a host contract following their approval by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board Wednesday.

IOC Executives meeting Wednesday to Friday this week at Lausanne, Switzerland headquarters have put forward both preferred candidates to an all-members Session for ratification votes on July 24. The Session, where about 100 IOC members will be able to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for each unopposed candidate, will take place at the Palais Des Congrès in Paris just two days ahead of the Summer Games Opening Ceremony.

Passing this final checkpoint ahead of the final Session vote all but assures the two bids will be named hosts as members don’t typically vote against Executive Boards’ decisions.

The Executive Board made its decision following a presentation of an evaluation report from the 10 member Future Host Commission led by Austria’s Karl Stoss. The report is based on bid books and guarantee files developed by the candidates and delivered to the IOC last February and March. The team traveled to both sites for five day visits in April to explore venues and plans and to negotiate details.

The Utah capital’s bid has received all necessary government approvals and on Tuesday a poll revealed the project has 79 percent public support across the state.

Complicating things for the French Alps bid is the recent dissolution of France’s National Assembly that has forced a June 30 national election and possible second round on July 7. The French bid has yet to deliver a state delivery guarantee to the IOC, a requirement ahead of the signing of the host contract. Incumbent president Emmanuel Macron was instrumental when Paris won its bid to host this years’ Games and has declared his support for the Winter Games bid.

While any newly elected government will likely make good on the promises made to support the Games, signing a guarantee will have to wait until July 8.

Stoss told reporters following the meeting that the IOC will also require a final confirmation of a public partnership contribution to the Games organization budget from the two regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the French Government. The Executive Board’s recommendation is contingent on those outstanding items, along with the Games delivery guarantee by the French Government being delivered ahead of the proposed election.

He said “we are very confident that both guarantees will be coming earlier than the IOC Session.”

“We are in very close contact with the governments and the two presidents of the two regions as well, and the president of the National Olympic Committee and they told us ‘listen our situation is that the elections are coming end of June and another one on seventh of July and after, between seventh of July and the IOC Session in Paris, we will reach this confirmation about the guarantees.”

Both bids will deliver virtual presentations to IOC members on June 26 to prepare for final presentations and the elections at the end of July.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com 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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