USOC to pass on bid for 2022 Winter Games

The United States Olympic Committee announced it will not bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, but instead will focus on a possible 2024 attempt at the Summer Games or for the 2026 Winter Games.

"Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the United States is of paramount importance to us," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement. "We want to submit a bid that is viable and that adds value to the worldwide Olympic Movement. We believe a 2024 or 2026 bid will give us the best chance of achieving those ends, and therefore will not submit a bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."

Blackmun added that the USOC board also voted Tuesday to form a committee to explore the task at the potential bid in either 2024 or 2026.

"We are firmly committed to submitting the most viable candidate city possible and to making a meaningful contribution to the worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Movements," Blackmun added. "We believe that exploring a bid for the 2024 or 2026 Games will give us the greatest opportunity for success.

"In the meantime, we're 100 percent focused on the most important task at hand; ensuring America's elite athletes have everything they need to be successful in London and beyond."

The U.S. last hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City and the Summer Games in 1996 in Atlanta.

The U.S. put New York at the forefront for a bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but lost badly. London will host the Games, starting later this month.

Chicago was bidding to host the 2016 Summer Games, but was knocked out by the International Olympic Committee in the first round of voting on Oct. 9, 2009. Those Games will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 2014 Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia, and four years later they are slated for Pyeongchang, South Korea. The finalists for the 2020 Summer Olympics are Istanbul, Japan and Madrid.