U.S. Olympics boss names Denver among three possibilities for upcoming winter games

Leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee say they are interested in hosting a Winter Olympics, either in 2026 or 2030.

A large crowd watches a ski jumper at a ski resort in Colorado, possibly Steamboat Springs. Between 1930 and 1939. (Harry Mellon Rhoads/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-1249)

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By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer

PARK CITY, Utah — Leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee say they are interested in hosting a Winter Olympics, either in 2026 or 2030.

At a news conference Monday, CEO Scott Blackmun said Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno, Nevada, are among the cities that might be considered.

Blackmun said the USOC board will meet next month to discuss the possibility.

Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee awarded Los Angeles the 2028 Games, which will mark the first time the Summer Olympics have been held in the U.S. since 1996.

The last Winter Olympics in the United States were in Salt Lake City in 2002. Leaders there have expressed interest in hosting again, and USOC chairman Larry Probst said he has heard indications from the IOC that it would like to bring the Winter Games back to a “traditional” locale, in North America or Europe.

A spokesperson for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock deferred questions about the Olympics to the Visit Denver tourism organization and the Denver Sports Commission.

“We have a great relationship with the U.S. Olympic Committee and an impressive resume of world class events that have called Denver home over the years,” said Matthew Payne, director of the Denver Sports Commission, in an emailed statement.

“Additionally, Denver and Colorado are very well positioned should the opportunity arise, and we would welcome an invitation to discuss in depth what it would take for Denver to become a Winter Olympic host city.”

Asked for further comment, Payne said through a written statement that the Sports Commission is researching the possibility. “We are doing our diligence to determine whether this is beneficial to the city and to understand the process and the criteria for bidding in the event we are invited to do so.”

Andrew Kenney contributed to this report.