PARK CITY, Utah -- Even before the IOC formally selected Los Angeles to host the 2028 Summer Olympics two weeks ago in Lima, there was talk about the United States hosting the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympics. Denver, Salt Lake City and Reno/Tahoe are all reportedly exploring the possibility of a winter bid. But would such bid steal some of the thunder away from L.A. 2028, perhaps hindering its ability to market those Games? That was the question posed to L.A. 2028 chairman Casey Wasserman on Tuesday at the Team USA media summit. No country has hosted back-to-back Olympics since before World War II.
"There are a myriad of issues -- most of them commercial," Wasserman admitted. "But our approach has always been the Olympic Games, whether they be summer or winter are good for American athletes. We will take an open mind and listen and let that process develop, and when it's time to engage be ready. We'd love for the Winter Games to come back to the U.S. whether it's 2026, 2030 or beyond."
Great Games for two
Four years ago, freekier Devin Logan went into the first Olympic qualifying season in her sport's history with the goal of qualifying in slopestyle and halfpipe. A double threat since she was 12, Logan, 24, came up short of her goal, qualifying for the Sochi Games only in slopestyle, but she left Sochi with a silver medal.
This time around, Logan said she is as determined as ever to qualify in both events, which means competing in twice as many contests as her competitors. To that end, she skipped early season on-snow training in New Zealand in favor of gym time to increase her strength and stamina for what she now knows will be a long, exhausting season.
So what's keeping her motivated for all those early morning workouts and airbag sessions?
"There's a 15-year-old girl who's better than me," Logan said of Estonian wunderkind Kelly Sildaru, the 2016 and 2017 X Games Aspen slopestyle gold medalist who has begun training in halfpipe, as well. "That's what gets me up in the morning. She lights a fire under me."
Jumping for joy
A few hours after Los Angeles officially became the host city for the 2028 Summer Games, Wasserman and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti jumped into their hotel pool -- suits and all -- to celebrate.
"Thankfully there were no pictures of the mayor," Wasserman said Tuesday.
IOC president Thomas Bach visited L.A. for two days after the announcement. But now it's time to get down to business. Los Angeles has an unprecedented 11 years to prepare for the Games, but Wasserman knows when the calendar turns to 2028 he's going to wish he had more time. So he's trying not to waste it now.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Wasserman said. "A big obligation. A big opportunity. And it requires us to get it right. While we have lots of time, that's the one thing you can't get more of. Everyday we work towards that goal of producing the best Olympics in history."
What that might look like no one knows. Eleven years ago, for example, the iPhone didn't exist. Wasserman said he had lunch with technological inventor Elon Musk during the bid process and even Musk struggled to imagine the possibilities.
"That struck me since he's the one who spends his time imagining what the world will be like then," Wasserman said.
Four years ago in Sochi, the U.S. women's hockey team lost the gold medal match to rival Canada in overtime. On Wednesday, Hilary Knight didn't exactly mince words about the growth in the team since then. "Not taking anything away from that team but it is scary where we are going to be in February in terms of talent, offense, chemistry," Knight said. "It's powerful. I wouldn't want to be suited up against us."
The U.S. women's Olympic team won the first-ever women's ice hockey tournament in 1998 and captured gold in Nagano, Japan, in a gold-medal game thriller over the Canadians. Since 1998, the U.S. has won three silver medals (2002, 2010, 2014) and one bronze medal (2006). This group is ranked No. 1 by the IIHF.
The USA Bobsled team will have added motivation for Pyeongchang -- the memory of late, lamented pilot Steve Holcomb. As Evan Weinstock, a member of the four-man sled piloted by Justin Olsen, says, "We're not only racing for our country, but for Steve, as well. I'm sure there will be tangible tributes, like his initials on our sleds, but more important is our desire to honor his legacy. His death hit us hard, but it also gave us motivation to do what he loved the most, and that is to win medals. We want to put a smile on his face."
Upcoming test for Nyman
Seven months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL and PCL, American downhiller Steve Nyman said he is leaving for Europe on Wednesday to test his surgically repaired left knee for the first time. His biggest concern? Leaving his wife behind with their three-and-a-half-month-old daughter.
"But she's going to her mom's house," he said. "So she'll be fine."
Nyman said he's been told by other skiers who have gone through a similar procedure that it typically takes a year before skiers can compete at a world class level pain free. There is extra motivation with it being an Olympic year and knowing the fast, jump-riddled Pyeongchang downhill course is well suited for his talents. He finished third in a test even there last year before his injury. Needless to say he has lofty goals for the upcoming year no matter how much he tries to downplay them.
"I really have high expectations for this year," he said. "But gotta keep the expectations low and focus on the task at hand."
Three reasons to care
The Pyeongchang Games are set for Feb. 9-25, 2018. More than 2,800 athletes from 95 nations are expected to participate in 15 sport disciplines.
The Olympic summit has one full day left, as it concludes Wednesday.