USOPC Board chairman Gene Sykes insists Salt Lake is ready to host the Winter Olympics whenever it suits the Olympic and Paralympic Movements ©Getty Images

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Board chairman Gene Sykes has announced that Salt Lake City "stands ready to welcome the world again in 2030 or 2034, which ever year best serves the Olympic and Paralympic Movements".

Sykes has claimed that an Olympic return to Salt Lake, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, would be welcomed by over 80 per cent support in the city and in the state of Utah.

"Our friends in Salt Lake continue to meet the prospect and process of welcoming the world for a Winter Games head on, the USOPC stands ready to support them in that effort," Sykes said.

"We support the idea of investing in communities that can be Olympic hosts, and Salt Lake City, I think, is an excellent example of just that kind of investment.

"Since 2002, they have continued to maintain, invest in and upgrade the infrastructure that they developed for the 2002 Games, and that's one of the things that makes them such a great host for either 2030 or 2034."

The USOPC have been holding meetings with Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, and representatives of the State Legislature.

"The result was an outstanding commitment to supporting winter sport through venue updating and access pathways at all levels," Sykes said.

Sykes has revealed he hopes that it will prove possible to enter a "targeted dialogue" with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about a potential bid in October.

Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002 ©Getty Images
Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002 ©Getty Images

This is the process which ultimately led to the selection of Brisbane to host the 2032 Games.

"Targeted dialogue is a significant step toward being engaged as the host of the Games, targeted dialogue means that there isn't somebody else who's in that discussion, just the one host that's been engaged," Sykes explained.

"I think that's very encouraging, and it makes the entire conversation and interaction a lot more focused and serious with the IOC."

Sykes hopes the process could start in time for the IOC Session in Mumbai which is scheduled to take place from October 15 to 17.

"We're in constant touch with the IOC, to try to gauge how they're bringing their members along, and how the Executive Board is being briefed by the Future Host City Commission," Sykes revealed.

"Salt Lake City's on a very good track, with tremendous support from the IOC, and very deep, persistent and positive, really constructive engagement,

"I think all of us in the United States, and certainly all of the people in the city of Salt Lake City and the state of Utah should feel confident, and I think encouraged by everything that we're learning."

Sweden is one of the countries interested in staging the 2030 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images
Sweden is one of the countries interested in staging the 2030 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Through the Future Host City Commission, the IOC are said to be considering potential host city rotation as the question of climate change makes it more difficult for some cities to host a Winter Olympics,

"It's still early days in this concept of a winter rotation, but the IOC and the Future Host City Commission have raised the idea. 

"There is some open discussion about this, and it stems from the fact that with an anticipated impact of climate change, there will be somewhat fewer cities, or fewer host areas available to host a Winter Games and all of the events that would occur in a Winter Games."

The IOC is also understood to be holding a talks with 2010 hosts Vancouver and also regional bids from Switzerland and Sweden.

Lausanne hosted the 2020 Youth Olympic Games with some events also held in St Moritz and the Swiss Olympic Committee were encouraged to consider a bid in the wake of successful Games.

Stockholm had bid unsuccessfully for the 2026 Games but the Swedes are also understood to be in talks.

Sapporo which had been considered by many to be the favourite for 2030, has been badly affected by negative publicity following the revelations of bribery involving officials connected with the Tokyo Olympics.