‘We coming home baby!’: Utahns, Olympians celebrate likely Winter Olympics return in 2034

Utah’s governor, Salt Lake City’s mayor and Olympic athletes took to social media on Monday to celebrate the Beehive State being named the preferred location for the 2034 Games.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox celebrate at City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, following the announcement by the International Olympic Committee of Salt Lake as a "preferred host" of the 2034 Olympic Games following an IOC live broadcast from Paris.

One generation after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics first came to Utah, athletes from around the globe are likely to return to Salt Lake City in 2034.

The chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission announced at the start of a news conference Wednesday that the Crossroads of the West, with much of the infrastructure from the 2002 Games still standing and in use, is the preferred location for the Olympics over a decade from now.

Here is how some notable Utahns and Olympians reacted to the news:

Mitt Romney, head of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic organizing committee and U.S. senator on X: “Congratulations to all those [who] worked to bring the Olympics back to the Beehive State in 2034! Utah is well prepared to host the world once again for the Winter Games, and I look forward to what will surely be an inspiring demonstration of the best qualities of the human spirit.”

In a video paired with the post, Romney said, “It is my dear hope that we’re going to have the same kind of transformation that we experienced in 2002 again in 2034, that we can welcome the world, serve the world, demonstrate the great qualities of humanity and also showcase the people of Utah.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, on X: “We did it! The world is coming back to Utah in 2034. So proud of our team and can’t wait to make this the greatest Olympics ever.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, on X: “Think of the next 10 years. Think all the kids headed to our venues after school this afternoon. They are our future! And after today they’re going to be counting on attending the 2034 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games — homegrown from the state of Utah.

“We have Olympics in our DNA. That’s why the IOC’s announcement feels so good! We are welcoming the world to #SLC today, and you should come, too.”

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, on X: “Salt Lake City named preferred host for the 2034 Olympic Winter Games. A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen.

“We will be ready to bring athletes across the world once again to the greatest snow on earth! #SLCWinterOlympics”

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, on X: “Utah’s Olympic journey continues! The legacy of the 2002 Games flourishes as we prepare to welcome the world back for the 2034 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Events like these unite us locally, nationally and internationally. Utah is once again ready to embrace the Olympics and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. #utpol”

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore, on X: “It is so exciting to have the world coming back to Salt Lake City!”

Utah Jazz majority owner and NHL-to-Utah advocate Ryan Smith, on X: “2034 … there’s nowhere like Utah for hosting the Winter Olympics. Best snow on earth, incredible facilities, and an amazing community of people! Thanks to @SpencerJCox, @slcmayor, @raneycat, Fraser Bullock and everyone else working so hard to welcome the world back to Utah! It’s time to really get to work!”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, on X: “The International Olympic Committee just named Salt Lake City, Utah as the preferred host for the 2034 Olympic Games! We can’t wait to hopefully have the Games in our backyard in 2034 — the official announcement is next year! #slc2034″

Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn, on X: “This gives me all the vibes! I am SO excited!! Almost there #slc2034″

Most decorated American Winter Olympian, speed skater Apolo Ohno, on X: “Yes!!!!!!! We coming home baby!!”