USOC: No plans for American bid for 2026 Olympics

Volunteers take photos in front of the Olympic rings near the finish area during men's downhill training at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) If the U.S. Olympic Committee is going to bid for the Winter Games soon, it will be a bid for 2030, not 2026.

USOC Chairman Larry Probst ruled out the possibility of bringing the Olympics to Salt Lake City, Denver or Reno two years before the Summer Games return to the United States, in Los Angeles.

”It would make things extremely complicated from a financial standpoint with Los Angeles,” Probst said Friday.

When a U.S. city wins the right to host, the USOC has to rework all its marketing arrangements so the city will be the prime beneficiary of the deals. It’s complex, and tearing up the deal with Los Angeles to add a 2026 host into the mix is considered unworkable.

The USOC has always preferred the idea of 2030, but was keeping doors open for 2026 in case of a repeat of the most recent Summer Games process. The IOC was supposed to award only the 2024 Olympics last September. But after a handful of bids cratered and only two remained – Paris and Los Angeles – the IOC took the unprecedented step of awarding both 2024 and 2028.

If the IOC indicates it wants a similar process with 2026 and 2030, Probst said ”we are prepared to participate in those discussions.”

Earlier this week, Salt Lake City said it would try to become the American candidate for a 2030 bid. It would be the favorite in a contest that could also include Denver and Reno, Nevada.

Another complicating factor with 2026 is that the United States could be preparing to host a World Cup. The U.S., Canada and Mexico are involved in a joint bid for 2026, to be awarded in June.

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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