Salt Lake City could be moving towards a 2034 bid, following USOPC comments ©Getty Images

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chair Susanne Lyons has considered Salt Lake City as the leading candidate for the 2034 Winter Olympic Games, adding that there are issues that could surface bidding for the 2030 Games.

Salt Lake City is in the running for the 2030 Winter Olympics hosting duties alongside Vancouver and Sapporo, but has also kept its options open for 2034 in the past.

Lyons' comments come days after the Pyrenees-Barcelona bid for the 2030 Games was scrapped, whittling the field down to three.

The USOPC chair said it was preferable to focus on 2034, despite the Salt Lake City Bid Committee not confirming that yet.

"We will figure this out, but if we have a preference, it would be better for us to do 2034," said Lyons in an interview with Associated Press.

"So I think in Salt Lake, the Bid Committee is realising that we are in an absolutely fantastic position for 2034 but we may still be called upon for 2030."

Previously, the USOPC admitted the period between Los Angeles 2028 and a potential Salt Lake City 2030 Games could be a challenger operationally, with the two Olympics being separated by approximately 18 months.

USOPC chair Susanne Lyons has suggested the 2034 Winter Olympics would be more preferable ©Getty Images
USOPC chair Susanne Lyons has suggested the 2034 Winter Olympics would be more preferable ©Getty Images

Lyons revealed this after discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently, which she believes points towards 2034, but suggested the US could step in for 2030 if needed.

She added that the IOC called the Salt Lake City bid "technically, very tight".

Last week Salt Lake City bid President Fraser Bullock hinted further at moving towards a 2034 bid for flexibility purposes, stating that the Utah capital would "host a Games when it is in the best interest of the Olympic Movement".

Recently, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee travelled to Lausanne to meet IOC representatives prior to making the comments.

Targeted dialogue with host cities is expected to get underway in December this year with the IOC, before the hosting rights are officially awarded at the 140th Session in Mumbai in 2023.