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UT Gov. Mike Leavitt told Salt Lake Council members Tuesday the 2002 Games belong to the state, not Salt Lake City, according to the DESERET NEWS. Those comments came as council members met with Leavitt after a bill was passed declaring they do not have the legal power to ratify appointments to the SLOOC board of trustees. Appointments to the board are made jointly by the governor and mayor. Leavitt said Salt Lake City does not have any greater interest in the Games than other cities in the state, and that the state is taking the financial risk of hosting the Games by agreeing to indemnify Salt Lake City against any losses (Lisa Riley Roche, DESERET NEWS, 2/28). MARKETING TALKS: Negotiations continue between the SLOOC and USOC over how to divide marketing money. SLOOC President Tom Welch said his group submitted a plan to the USOC and is reviewing their response. A meeting on details is expected sometime next month (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 2/29).
Olympic volleyball fan and New Mexico resident Wade Miller recently tried to order Olympic tickets by phone, but found out operators for the '96 Games were "geographically impaired," according to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. After telling the operator he was from New Mexico, Miller was put on hold. The operator then came back and said she couldn't sell tickets to someone who lives outside the country. Miller spent half an hour trying to convince the agent that New Mexico is a state. She then transferred him to her supervisor who responded, "Sir, New Mexico, old Mexico, it doesn't matter. I understand it's a territory, but you still have to go through your nation's Olympic committee." ACOG officials said the incident was a one-time occurrence (Lyle Harris, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/29).