Salt Lake City is seeking to host the Winter Olympics and Paralympics for the second time ©Getty Images

Salt Lake City plans to send a small delegation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to aid plans for a future bid, despite the United States Government announcing a diplomatic boycott of the event.

A virtual meeting took place today between the Salt Lake City-Utah Bid Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), after a planned visit to the organisation’s headquarters in Lausanne was shelved due to COVID-19.

The call coincided with an announcement by the US Government that politicians will not attend the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Chinese capital, due to an "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang".

Committee head Fraser Bullock told a media briefing following the call that a small delegation will visit Beijing to learn from organisers, adding that the Government's decision had not been discussed with the IOC.

"No, our focus was strictly on our Games that we are endeavouring to host," Bullock said.

"There was no discussion of that [diplomatic boycott] at all.

"We have got our heads down and are working hard.

"We know that things in the world come and go, this is a long journey and we will focus on our Games and put our best foot forward in what we can offer the world and the Movement."

Salt Lake City expect to utlise venues used at the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images
Salt Lake City expect to utlise venues used at the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Bullock said the Bid Committee aims to learn from Beijing 2022’s work behind the scenes, as well as new concepts which could be incorporated into its proposed Games.

The meeting with IOC staff was briefly attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and was billed as a "productive and positive call".

The call reportedly provided further information for the prospective hosts, following an initial virtual call with the IOC Future Host Commission on November 12.

No decision has yet been taken on whether Salt Lake City will pursue the 2030 or 2034 Games, with the Salt Lake City-Utah Bid Committee saying the decision rests with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

No update is expected until after Beijing 2022.

Bullock said very little building work would be required for Salt Lake City to host the Games, with the official saying all new sport disciplines can fit into the venues used when the city hosted the event back in 2002.

Small refurbishments would reportedly be required, with the Bid Committee currently preparing a proposed budget for the event.

Bullock added that the cancelled visit to Lausanne is expected to be rescheduled for the spring, with the IOC having reportedly insisted there is no specific timeline for awarding the Games.

Japan, Spain, Ukraine and Canada are among the other countries interested in hosting a future edition of the Winter Olympics.