Utah has put another arrow in its quiver — or perhaps more appropriately, bullet in its magazine — as it makes its case that it is “ready and willing” to host another Winter Olympics.
A biathlon World Cup will take place at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway in 2024, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation announced Wednesday. The venue, created to host biathlon and cross country skiing during the 2002 Olympics, is scheduled to welcome the International Biathlon Union-sanctioned competition on March 4-10, 2024.
“The Biathlon World Cup in 2024 will be another terrific opportunity to showcase winter sport in Utah at one of our world-class Olympic venues,” Jeff Robbins, the president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, said in a statement.
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has picked Utah to host the nation’s next Winter Olympics. A local committee is working with the USOPC to determine whether to submit a bid for 2030, 2034 or another Winter Olympics further into the future. The International Olympic Committee has put a premium on sustainability recently, and continued use of a facility for elite-level competition could check that box.
Soldier Hollow will also be the site of the 2022 IBU youth and junior world championships, which are slated for Feb. 21-March 2, 2022.
Two senior Biathlon World Cup events have been held at Soldier Hollow. The first was as an Olympic test event in 2001 and the most recent in 2019.
More than 180 athletes from 29 countries participated in the 2019 World Cup. It drew an estimated 4,200 spectators and more than 50 million TV viewers.
“It’s always an advantage to have big races at home,” Max Cobb, president and CEO of the U.S. Biathlon Association, said in a statement. “And hosting another World Cup at Soldier Hollow where our National Team regularly trains and where so much development is happening is very exciting.”