French Alps on fast track to host 2030 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City set for 2034

NEW YORK — The French Alps will likely host the 2030 Winter Olympics, with Salt Lake City following in 2034, the International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday.

Two regions in southeast France — Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur — made a joint bid to host the 2030 Games and were selected for exclusive negotiations with the IOC.

The French beat out bids from Sweden and Switzerland to host the 2030 Winter Olympics. The IOC plans to officially announce a winner in July. That will give the successful bid just over five years to plan for the Games, the tightest turnaround in recent decades.

Organizers in France touted their ability to use already existing facilities to host the massive global event.

Salt Lake City was essentially running unopposed for the 2034 Olympics. If IOC members rubber-stamp the executive board’s Wednesday decisions, the U.S. and France will combine to host four of the six Olympic Games between 2024 and 2034, as the Alps and Salt Lake City join Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

Meanwhile, Sweden is now 0 for 9 in bids to host the Winter Olympics. Stockholm bid for the 2022, 2026 and 2030 Games, Osterland bid for the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Games, Falun bid for the 1988 and 1992 Games, and Gothenburg wanted to host the 1984 Games.

Stockholm did host the Summer Olympics in 1912, but nearly a century later also lost an attempt to host the 2004 Summer Olympics.

However, Sweden is likely to host eventually. Because of climate change, the number of cities capable of hosting the Winter Olympics is dwindling worldwide. The IOC has identified only 15 countries that can host Winter Games for the foreseeable future, as global temperatures continue to rise.