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This Friday in Budapest, Hungary, the IOC will choose the location of the 2002 Winter Olympics out of from Ostersund, Sweden; Sion, Switzerland; Quebec City, Canada; and Salt Lake City, which is "favored." Longman notes that Salt Lakes $798M bid is "technically superior" to the other three, but the vote can be "highly political" and the favorite is not guaranteed (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12). Tom Welch, President of the Salt Lake City Bid Committee, says that the main difference between now and four years ago, when Salt Lake lost out to Nagano by four votes, was the "quality of relationships" between the committee and IOC and int'l sports officials. Some 55 of the 96 IOC members visited Salt Lake between February and May. Salt Lake officials expect 50,000 residents to gather Friday for the live announcement (John Keahy, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/10). Welch also told USA TODAY that the Utah delegation will not make an extravagant presentation. Welch: "They (opponents) are shooting at us being 'very American.'... So we're going to be low-key, both in our presentation and our approach" (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 6/12). George Gross of the TORONTO SUN notes that Salt Lake's largest obstacle to overcome may be the fact that some IOC officials have shown "displeasure" with the preparation efforts in Atlanta (TORONTO SUN, 6/11). NEW USOC LEADER? Former NCAA Exec Dir Dick Schultz is expected to be named Exec Dir of the USOC, in "perhaps as soon as two weeks," according to Saturday's N.Y. TIMES. The USOC has an executive committee meeting scheduled for June 23 in Boston at which time they are expected to choose Schultz over Mike Jacki, former head of the U.S. Skiing and Gymnastics Federations (Jere Longman, N.Y. TIMES, 6/11). IOC RULE CHANGE: Then IOC is "expected to approve" a resolution to change the mandatory retirement age which could enable IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch to stay in office "into the next century" (AP/CALGARY HERALD, 6/12).