LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The US Olympic Committee (USOC) wants to bid for the Winter Olympics, but is still mulling whether it would be better to seek the 2026 or 2030 Games.
"I put a stake in the ground that we are interested in hosting the Winter Games," USOC chairman Larry Probst told reporters on Friday as he discussed talks at the USOC Assembly in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"Ideally, that's probably 2030, so that there's no confusion with preparations for 2028," Probst added, referring to the Summer Games awarded to Los Angeles. The United States last hosted the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.
USOC board members discussed the pros and cons of possible 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympic bids on Friday, Probst said, adding that officials still need more information from the International Olympic Committee on the bidding process.
Probst said the USOC wants to be part of the discussion if the IOC decides to award the 2026 and 2030 Olympics in one vote - as it did last month in choosing Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028. In that case, the USOC could be interested in entering the next round of bidding.
If so, they would need to select a bid city by next March, Probst said. Salt Lake City, Denver, Reno-Tahoe on Nevada's border with California and other cities have expressed interest.
"We really need more discussions with the IOC to understand their process and timing before we determine what our process is going to be," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said. Probst said he has interpreted remarks from IOC president Thomas Bach about selecting a "more traditional" venue for the Winter Games as an indication that he wants them held in Europe or North America.
The 2018 Winter Games start in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Summer Games of 2020 will be held in Tokyo.