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New SLOC President Mitt Romney said yesterday that "profit, pride and pageantry come second" to the 2002 Olympics and its athletes, according to Linda Fantin of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Romney's proposal to "economize" the 2002 Winter Games will cut $14M from the budget. But the "savings come in the shadow of another" $81M in "unexpected costs," including a $41M "budget calculation error," which will increase the budget from $1.45B to $1.52B. If SLOC organizers "fail to raise the necessary funds, Romney has identified" $84M more in cuts. Romney said that OPUS, the marketing arm of the 2002 Games, has "secured" $548M in sponsorships, $326M of which goes to SLOC (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 3/12). Romney's cost-cutting proposals range from "a six-month hiring freeze to eliminating free lunches for trustees." The only "possible exception" to the hiring freeze, which will save $6M, is the hiring of a new COO. Cutting board expenses and staff travel will save an estimated $2M (Lisa Riley Roche, DESERET NEWS, 3/12).
THE ROLE OF DEFRANTZ: IOC VP Anita DeFrantz, on yesterday's N.Y. Times report that she was aware of some of the Salt Lake City 2002 bid committee's transgressions: "I can tell you they [SLOC execs] would send me a list of who was going to visit and ask me to call and encourage them. ... I would never and will never mortgage the Olympic movement for a bid city. Period. Check my record. It's not me" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/12). IOC VP Dick Pound said he hadn't seen the report implicating DeFrantz. Asked if he would press DeFrantz for an explanation, Pound said, "I'm sure somebody will talk to her now that it's come out." Will that be him? Pound: "Probably" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12). OTHER NOTES: IOC member Phil Coles has "retired" as the Australian Olympic Committee's Dir of Int'l Relations. Coles was "one of the IOC members named in the report" by the SLOC's board of ethics, and he cited the controversy's toll on his "health as the reason behind the decision" (AROUND THE RINGS, 3/12)....Toronto's bid to host the 2008 Olympics took "another blow" when Dick Pound "quietly quit his post" on the committee board last December. One source: "It's another setback for Toronto's bid. Why wouldn't it be? One of the key IOC members will not be part of it, at least for the time being" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12)....IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and European Union "architect" Jacques Delors "have been asked to help redesign the troubled" IOC (TORONTO STAR, 3/12)....A survey of 1,000 Americans for USOC sponsor Blue Cross & Blue Shield, conducted last week, showed "nearly three-fourths" of respondents had a favorable impression of the Olympics, "but nearly half said their view had soured since the bidding scandal in Salt Lake City erupted." Blue Cross VP/Marketing Christopher Molineaux said the survey "helped persuade the company that Americans are able to separate their feelings" about the Games "from the people who run them" (WSJ, 3/12).