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Volume 24 No. 116


     The IOC's Evaluation Commission gave high marks yesterday to
Salt Lake City and Quebec as they emerged as the front runners in
the nine-city race for the 2002 Winter Games.  An IOC report
evaluating each city's bid praised Salt Lake for "it's excellent
financial plan, information technology network and media
facilities."  The report did not rate the candidates, but Salt
Lake was given the highest praise.  Quebec was cited for its
financial plan, indoor facilities, and strong environmental
protection attitude (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/21).  Ostersund, Sweden,
was given good marks, but there were questions regarding security
and the environmental impact of the bobsled track.  Graz,
Austria, also considered a final four contender, was seen as
having problems with the financial plan.  Salt Lake Mayor Dee Dee
Corradini: "We knew all along we had a very strong bid."  The
field will be narrowed to four candidates on January 24, with the
final vote June 16 (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 12/21).