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).