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Salt Lake City looks to bid again
Thursday February 9, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

The city that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics is considering going for it again. It may bid again in 2022 but it did not go well as the Olympic flame failed to light at a commemoration ceremony. For some observers it would be a surprise if it won. PlanetSKI reports from Salt Lake City.

The announcement was made by the governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, as the city celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Games.

It is though rare for a city to be awarded the Games twice in such a short time span. 

Innsbruck held the Games in 1964 and then for a second time in 1976.

But it was awarded the 1976 event only after the US city of Denver pulled out at short notice and another venue had to be found.

February 8th 2002 was when The Games opened and Utah has chosen the tenth anniversary to announce its interest in staging them again.

Celebrations this week culminated with the re-lighting of the Olympic cauldron outside the Rice-Eccles stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held in 2002.

PlanetSKI was among an invited group to the ceremony but it didn't quite go according to plan.

After the speeches and build-up the torch failed to ignite despite several attempts.

The slogan for 2002 was "Light the fire within'.

On this occassion though they couldn't light the fire outside.

Or perhaps notOr perhaps not













Apologies were made and then just as the invited guests and dignitaries were filing out it burst into flames.

The crowd clapped but then it went out again after a few minutes.

It wasn't the greatest start to a possible new bid.

Alight at lastAlight at last













Before the ceremony we spoke to the president of the exploratory committee that will look into the possibility of staging another bid.

"It is very early days and we will look at all the options and the economics before moving forward," said Steve Price. "There is a long way to go and we are just examining the issues."

At the speeches the governor of Utah at the time of the 2002 Games was on the platform and reflected back on the events of  ten years ago.

"We should always be proud and perhaps we should do it again," he said.

The possibility of a bid has been rumoured for weeks in the media here in USA. 

Other US areas interested are Denver in Colorado and Reno-Tahoe in California.

All have had exploratory talks with the US Olympic Committee about bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Governor Herbert has recently been having discussions about Salt Lake City bidding to host again.

"We're not considering a winter or a summer bid right now," says Scott Blackmun, the USOC's chief executive officer only last month to the US media.

For many though the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics will be associated with the scandal when bid officials from the city gave more than $1 million in cash, gifts and other inducements to IOC members and their families.

There is a bid from Switzerland in 2022 as we first reported on PlanetSKI.

The IOC is known to want the Winter Olympics to return to the mountains rather than being based in a city a distance away.

The 2010 Games were in Vancouver in Canada and the 2006 Games at the Italian city of Turin. Both are a way from the mountains.

This could favour a Swiss bid by Davos-St Moritz in The Alps and the resorts are already labelling it 'The White Games'. 

Both have extensive hotel accommodation, conference facilities and snowsports infrastructure but further construction work would need to be done.

However the IOC is also thought to be moving towards venues that do not need huge infrastructure development.

That would tend to favour Salt Lake City. The ski resorts for Salt Lake City are all under an hour away too.

Here in Utah people are obviously excited about the prospect.

"It would be awesome and I know we are going to win," one local said to PlanetSKI. 

Another said, "We will be able to produce the best Winter Olympic Games again so we will win again."

According to the local media in Salt Lake City the politiicnas are more cautious about the chances of winning.

"Less than 25 percent," said Senate President, Michael Waddoups.

"I think it's closer to 50 and on paper, we look really good," said Governor Herbet.

It will be an interesting contest and we will follow it as it unfolds.

Locals come out in supportLocals come out in support














As Salt Lake City celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Games we will be having an extended feature on PlanetSKI on the Olympic legacy and what it has meant for the city.

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