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  • 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC BIDS: SALT LAKE & QUEBEC UPDATES

         Tom Welch, president of Salt Lake City's bid to stage the
    2002 Winter Games, said Friday "his efforts should be
    strengthened by the role of Atlanta as host" of the '96 Games.
    Welch noted that Atlanta's success in raising some $1.6B from
    private sources "should be a major plus" when the IOC votes next
    year on the 2002 site.  Two years ago, Salt Lake "narrowly lost
    the race" to host the '98 Games to Nagano, Japan.  Welch: "The
    last time, the negative about us for some IOC members was that
    Atlanta had the Games.  For others, it was because the Winter
    Games had not been staged in Asia for so long.  And others just
    didn't like us."  Now, however, Welch expects the Atlanta Games
    to be a "boon."  Eight cities are bidding on 2002:  Quebec City;
    Jaca, Spain; Socchi, Russia; Ostersund, Sweden; Sion,
    Switzerland; Graz, Austria; Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia; and Tarviso,
    Italy.  Salt Lake "generally is considered the front-runner, but
    Welch said it was too early" (Larry Siddons, AP, 11/12).
         QUEBEC:  In its bid to host the 2002 Games, Quebec City "has
    hit one big bump":  finding a site for men's downhill skiing.
    The International Ski Federation has rejected six of the sites
    Quebec has proposed.  On the political side, Quebec 2002 has
    "tried to calm IOC concerns over the threat of separation, which
    the Parti Quebecois government plans to accomplish in a
    referendum this year."  Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and
    Foreign Affairs Minister Andre Ouellet have told IOC members that
    Quebec separation is unlikely.  "Political hurdles aside," IOC
    Canadian representative Carol Anne Letheren expects Quebec City
    to make the IOC short list in January, along with Salt Lake,
    Sion, and Ostersund (AP, 11/12).
    

    Print | Tags: IOC, Olympics
  • BIG USOC BUDGET CUTS COMING; AND OTHER NASHVILLE NOTES

         In Dallas, Mark McDonald writes, USOC President LeRoy Walker
    "has compared the USOC to 'a small Fortune 500 company that
    happens to be in the business of sports.'  And Walker is
    presiding over what is likely to be a significant downsizing of
    the USOC."  Walker, who has been examining budget recommendations
    at the U.S. Olympic Congress in Nashville this weekend:
    "Everything's on the table (to be cut)."  The USOC's
    participation in future World University Games is said to be "in
    trouble," and Walker even floated the idea that the U.S. might
    not send full teams to other major events if the U.S. athletes
    would not be competitive (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/13).  Anita
    DeFrantz, one of the U.S.'s IOC members, said the size of U.S.
    Olympic teams must not be affected by budget cutting.  DeFrantz
    suggested charging for time at Olympic training centers, federal
    and state tax checkoffs and funding from pro sports as
    alternative ways to trim budgets (AP, 11/12).
         THE NASHVILLE RUMOR CIRCUIT:   As for the USOC's Exec Dir
    position that Harvey Schiller vacated for the presidency of
    Turner Sports, "the job appears to be fund-raiser John Krimsky's
    for the taking or leaving."  Other names being floated:  SWC
    Commissioner Steve Hatchell, USA Gymnastics chief Sandy Knapp and
    soon-to-be former Governors Ann Richards and Mario Cuomo (DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS, 11/13).  In New York, Jere Longman profiles
    Krimsky: "The very same toughness that serves Krimsky well in
    deal-making may make him unsuitable as executive director" (N.Y.
    TIMES, 11/13).  Walker on Krimsky: "We're going to get this done
    with all deliberate speed.  But we're going to do it right.  One
    thing that is a priority is getting Krimsky out of the dual-role
    situation and into either one or the other.  And the sooner the
    better" (Bob Ford, PHILA. INQUIRER, 11/14).
    

    Print | Tags: IOC, Olympics, Time Warner, USOC
  • IOC COMMITTEE HEADS TO ATLANTA AMID LESS CONTROVERSY

         When the IOC's oversight panel arrives this week, "its
    members will find a city bustling with construction and Olympic
    organizers focusing on the Games instead of controversy,"
    according to Melissa Turner of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  The
    last time the IOC came to check up on Atlanta in May, gay rights
    activists and the Cobb County venue dispute "overshadowed ACOG's
    progress report on Olympic operations."  This time, the panel is
    likely to focus on progress on the Olympic stadium, athletes
    village and equestrian center, as well as the construction
    schedule and venue designs.  During the visit, the panel will
    receive a review of how the city of Atlanta is progressing in its
    preparations for the Games (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/13).
         ACOG SHUFFLE:  A power transition is beginning to take place
    in ACOG.  By design, the center of power is supposed to shift
    from the various departments to the 31 venues.  The shift makes
    Dir of Venues Doug Arnot, a World Cup '94 veteran and newcomer to
    ACOG, "potentially one of the most powerful people at the
    committee."  The idea is that having people "empowered to make
    decisions in the field makes more sense than trying to run the
    Games from a central command."  Arnot is seen as a "challenge by
    a number of ACOG's top folks," including broadcast head Manolo
    Romero; Dick Yarbrough, ACOG CEO Billy Payne's "sage"; and sports
    chief Dave Maggard.  "There also has been considerable tension
    between Arnot and construction chief Bill Moss, who has bristled
    at Arnot's Johnny-come-lately second-guessing of venue designs."
    ATLANTA CONSTITUTION's Bert Roughton notes that if Payne "can
    referee these powerful egos, then the transition, while
    difficult, could go on with minimal bloodshed.  But if he can't,
    the turf wars could freeze ACOG into gridlock a year and a half
    from showtime" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/12).
    

    Print | Tags: IOC, Olympics
  • ONLY TEN "MEGA-SIGNS" AVAILABLE FOR ADVERTISEMENT

         "In a surprise move," Olympic organizers are seeking city
    approval to use 15 of 25 "mega-signs" to pay tribute to cities
    that have hosted the Games in the past.  ACOG spokesperson Lyn
    May said that the committee "intends to lock down the signs and
    make them dramatically smaller than allowed by city law."  ACOG
    CEO Billy Payne last week promised the signs would be no larger
    than 700 sq. feet, even though a recently passed city ordinance
    would allow as much as 3,600 square feet.  The remaining 10 signs
    still will be available to Olympic sponsors who pay the $40M
    sponsorship fee (Lyle Harris, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Olympics
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