IOC member and Advisory Board Member Karl Stoss of Austria and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi attend a press conference after an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board committee meeting in Paris, on November 29, 2023. ©Get

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday confirmed the French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah as the sole candidates to host the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.

Karl Stoss, head of the IOC's future host commission, said Olympic chiefs would now move into "targeted dialogue" with the two candidates.

"The IOC will now start more detailed discussions with the Preferred Hosts, led by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), with the aim of awarding both editions at the 142nd IOC Session in July in Paris," the IOC said.

The French bid moved forward at the expense of the two other candidates, Sweden and Switzerland.

Only Salt Lake City-Utah in the United States has launched a bid to host the 2034 Games.

France, which welcomes the Summer Olympics in 2024, has hosted the Winter Games three times: Chamonix in 1924, Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992.

Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The bid for the 2030 Games is based around Meribel, Courchevel and Val d'Isere for alpine skiing while La Clusaz would host nordic events. The Olympic village would be in the Mediterranean city of Nice, which would host skating events.

"What really stood out about the French Alps and Salt Lake City-Utah projects was their vision for the athlete experience, their alignment with regional and national socio-economic development plans, and their very strong support from the public and from all levels of government," Stoss said.

"The Commission felt strongly that the other Interested Parties would benefit from more time to optimise the athlete experience of their future Games, and to continue to build on their burgeoning foundations of public and political support."

The IOC also offered an olive branch to Switzerland, commission head Stoss saying the Swiss would now enter "privileged dialogue" for a bid for the 2038 Games.

"The IOC EB (executive board) decided to grant the non-edition-specific project, Switzerland 203x, a special status by inviting it into 'Privileged Dialogue' for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2038," the IOC added.

While praising Switzerland's many existing venues and great experience in hosting international winter sport events, Stoss said: "They have to do their homework first."

"They have to show us a more convincing venue plan," he said, adding that there also needed to be a proper Olympic Village.

In a boost for the Swiss, the IOC said it would not engage in discussions with other potential hosts for the 2038 Winter Games during the privileged dialogue which will last to the end of 2027.

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