2026 Winter Olympics Back in Play?

The U.S. Olympic Committee has officially decided to not nominate Boston for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. This development opens the conversation for the U.S. pursuit of the 2026 Winter Games.  It was originally believed that the USOC would bid for 2024 or 2026; dependent upon which offered the higher probability of success.  If the USOC is to continue it's 2024 bid, there will be a quick scramble to propose a new city (Los Angeles or Dallas?). In the meantime, 2026 seems to make more sense, and Bozeman is in that conversation.  

Bozeman 2026 Moving Forward

Bozeman's bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics games is still on and moving forward, according to a recent GamesBids.com article.

There had been speculation that the recent commitment of the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2024 bid (Boston) would lessen the probability of an American bid in 2026.  As of now, that is not the case, and even the 2024 Boston-bid is in question because of dwindling support in that city. 

Rumors were circulating that Bozeman could replace Boston as a candidate city for the 2024 Summer Games, but have since proven false. For now, Bozeman is focused on 2026.

U.S. Olympic Committee: Exploring 2024... Then 2026

During the U.S. Olympic Committee's final news conference at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, "We are evaluating now whether we want to bid for 2024. We are talking to a handful of cities, and if we determine that a 2024 bid is not in the interests of the Olympic movement in the U.S., we will look at whether a 2026 bid makes sense."

It's not clear if the United States would bid on both the 2024 and 2026 Games.  However, strong, credible candidate cities are in discussion for each pursuit. Interested cities for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games include Dallas, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC.

U.S. Cities Interested in Hosting 2026 Winter Olympics

As the Sochi Games come to a close; U.S. cities are lining up for the opportunity to bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. Bozeman is in the company of at least five other municipalities who are in the introductory stages of bidding for the Games. The following U.S. cities have declared their interest in hosting the games: Anchorage, Boston, Bozeman, Denver, Reno/Tahoe and Salt Lake City.

Anchorage is accustomed to bidding for the Winter Olympics with unsuccessful attempts in 1992 and 1994. Anchorage's location is particularly interesting for television ratings. Morning events can be shown live in primetime for European countries, and evening events would be aired live, in primetime, for the Americas.

Boston is a sports-loving city with plenty of venues to house multiple Olympic events. The infrastructure would need some updating, but accommodations for visitors is already in place. Boston has never bid for the Olympics.

Bozeman is the least populated city of those in the early discussions for the 2026 Olympics. Bozeman is nationally recognized for its outdoor recreation and way of life. Surrounded by a beautiful natural environment; Bozeman is a championship skiers paradise with over 200 runs on three mountains. However, Bozeman would need to construct new venues, hotels and update the existing infrastructure.

Denver was originally selected to host the Olympics in 1976, but its residents voted to rejected the Games. The Denver area is one of the most established skiing destinations in the U.S.

Reno/Lake Tahoe hosted the Olympics in 1960, and has become a major contender in the 2026 bidding, due to its mult-million dollar renovations and upgrades of venues and hotels.

Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics in 2002, and is considered to be one of the most successful Olympics in terms of profit and television ratings. Salt Lake City has established venues and infrastructure, which could be reused from the 2002 Olympic Games.

Bozeman Climate Made for Winter Olympics

As Sochi Olympic officials tap into a snow reserve to deal with balmy temperatures, Bozeman's climate seems to be ideal for a future Winter Olympics in 2026.  The average February high temperature is 35 degrees, with a low of 15 degrees, according to meteorologist Matt Grey

Snowfall at the Olympics is always a wild card, the Nagano Games (2006) had too much and provided white-out conditions; the Vancouver Games (2010) had very little snowfall. 

Bozeman-area ski resorts average 350-400 inches of snow.  Grey says compared to the snow averages of the Calgary Games (1988) and Salt Lake City Games (2002), Bozeman's snowfall numbers would fall in the middle.  Bozeman's average temperatures and snowfall amounts would provide favorable conditions for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

IMAGINE: Bozeman Olympics 2026

At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, The U.S. Alpine ski team had their best Olympic performance winning eight medals.  Lindsay Vonn became the first U.S. woman to win gold in the downhill event, and Bode Miller became the most successful U.S. Olympic skier of all time. 

In the halfpipe, Shaun White won gold in historic fashion.  White recorded a score of 46.8 on his first run, which proved a high enough score to secure the gold medal without a second run. He performed his second run anyway, as a victory lap, ending his run with a well-anticipated Double McTwist 1260 which he named The Tomahawk.  This second run resulted in a record score of 48.4 (50 is the highest possible score) enlarging his margin of victory. His nearest competitor won the silver with a points total of 45.0, 3.4 behind White. (wikipedia)

What Olympic history is in store for Bozeman 2026?

Big Sky Resort: 2026 Potential Olympic Venue

Big Sky Resort prides itself on being "America's Biggest Skiing".  The resort has over 5,500 skiable acres, with 220 runs covering 110 miles and three mountains.  The more detailed information about this potential Olympic venue, click here.