PARIS (AP) - Salt Lake City being preferred as a shoo-in to host the 2034 Winter Olympics was expected. The surprise was the IOC favoring the French Alps bid for the 2030 edition on Wednesday.
Aiming to finalize back-to-back Winter Games hosts next year, the International Olympic Committee executive board has decided to enter exclusive talks with Olympic officials in France and the United States for Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake was alone in the 2034 race to bring the games back to Utah which hosted the 2002 Winter Games.
The Olympic rings display outside Paris city hall in Paris, France, on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photographer: Andrea Mantovani/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A French bid uniting the snowy Alps region and the French Riviera resort Nice was competing with Sweden and Switzerland for the IOC’s support.
The IOC also has pointed the Swiss bid toward the 2038 Olympics with "privileged dialogue" status.
The IOC last month aimed to make a double award picking the 2030 and 2034 hosts together in July when about 100 members meet in Paris on the eve of the Summer Games.
That plan could now change to avoid a conflict for IOC members to have to vote for a French bid in its capital city.