Utah’s support for bringing back the Olympics is making headlines

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A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll showing that nearly 80% of Utahns support the bid to host more Winter Games is making headlines for multiple Olympic media outlets covering the three-way race between Salt Lake City; Sapporo, Japan; and Vancouver, Canada.

  • “If Salt Lake City, Utah, doesn’t win its bid to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics, it won’t be for lack of support,” said Around The Rings, founded decades ago in Atlanta. and now based in Buenos Aires. , Argentina, said in an article on the poll published on Tuesday.
  • “It’s impressive,” California’s Sports Examiner said in its daily Olympics news roundup on Wednesday, adding that the level of approval among Utahns for a new bid “also separates Salt Lake City from the lukewarm support of the bid in Sapporo (JPN: 52-57% in March) and Vancouver (54% in July).
  • “Utah’s support for the Games continues well above that of rivals looking to host in 2030, and most other recent bids to host the massive international quadrennial event,” the Canadian website reported on Tuesday. GamesBids.com, noting that support had dropped since previous surveys. several years ago, but was “still going strong”.

The new Deseret News poll and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics found that 79% of Utahns approve of hosting more Winter Games and only 16% disapprove, and 5% don’t know. The poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates July 13-18 of 801 registered Utah voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

The results were hailed by Fraser Bullock, President and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, as “incredibly strong”, especially given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the recent Olympics, including the one-year delay of summer 2020. Games in Tokyo.

Earlier polls by the state Olympic Exploratory Committee put support at 89% in 2017 and a poll by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee measured it at 82% a year later, shortly before Salt Lake City be chosen to bid on behalf of the United States.

Utah is a candidate for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games, but Utahns will likely have to wait several years before knowing if they will have a chance to repeat the success of the 2002 Winter Games, which was called “superb” by the late President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, during the closing ceremonies.

The IOC’s executive committee is set to advance its 2030 hosting choice until the contract negotiation phase in December, but Salt Lake City – once seen as a frontrunner alongside Sapporo – is increasingly no longer considered a long shot.

With Los Angeles hosting the 2028 Summer Games, there were already issues with another American city being selected for the Winter Games just 18 months later. The IOC also raised concerns about part of the US response to Beijing’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Games earlier this year, despite China’s human rights record. man.

And while there has been speculation that cities will be identified for the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games in December, IOC President Thomas Bach recently said there would be no dual nomination award, so whoever succeeds him after his term ends in 2025 can have a say in who gets 2034.

The impact of the poll results on the IOC remains to be seen, said Chris Karpowitz, co-director of the Center for Elections and Democracy Studies at Brigham Young University, especially as support has been high across the board. past.

“It seems the IOC has broader geopolitical concerns in mind,” Karpowitz said. “It doesn’t hurt to see that the Utahns are supporting (the bid), but I’m not sure that directly addresses the kinds of larger issues that seem to be blunting Salt Lake’s momentum in 2030. I’m not sure he’s breaking through those kinds of concerns right now.


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