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Preliminary discussions are reportedly underway about Salt Lake City or Denver hosting the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

The Associated Press is reporting that five people familiar with the discussions say there has been talk of bidding to bring the Winter Olympics back to U.S. soil before the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. 

Salt Lake and Park City have stood as prime examples of the sort of legacy that modern Olympics are supposed to leave in a region. There's an eight-lane interstate running from the Salt Lake airport, which was upgraded for the Olympics, to Park City, which is the home of U.S. Ski and Snowboard. Park City is the host of key U.S. training centers for freestyle skiing, speedskating and cross country skiing.

 

Overall, the area has hosted about 75 World Cup and world-championship events in winter sports since the Olympic cauldron was extinguished more than 15 years ago.

 

Denver would have a steeper hill to climb. Although it's bigger than Salt Lake City, the mountains are farther away, and more infrastructure would be needed.

So far there are 4 cities considering bidding for the 2026 games: Calgary, Canada, Innsbruck, Austria, Lillehammer, Norway, and Sion, Switzerland. Calgary, Lillehammer, and Innsbruck have all hosted the games before. However, Innsbruck has a public referendum scheduled in October which could take them out of the running as host.