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).