SLOC Gets Cool Reception From IOC
Details From AP
Sept. 13, 2000-- Two days from the opening of the Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the IOC is unhappy with the next city that will host Olympic games. That city, of course, is Salt Lake.
Olympic Specialist Bruce Lindsay has the story from Sydney.
It's a tale of two Olympic cities that are very far apart in the eyes of the lords of the Olympic rings.
Sydney is a city on fire with anticipation and enthusiasm, fueled by the Olympic torch now being run through this city, after a five month journey from Greece.
The Olympics seem to be the talk on every corner.
Eager fans are sweeping up last minute tickets.
But while the Olympic flame burns for Sydney,
the IOC is on low boil toward Salt Lake.
SLOC President Mitt Romney says, "We understand the concern and we would like to be responsive to the President's wish that inaccuracies are corrected."
Romney tried to put a good spin on the grilling he received on Wednesday following his progress report to the IOC.
Some of the IOC members arrived at Wednesday's meeting, still angered by SLOC's release of the so-called "Geld Document," which seemed to identify them as open for bribes.
Cameras were not permitted in the hall by the time members asked why documents that weren't true became public.
Romney told them he's angry the Geld document was ever written, but insisted its disclosure was required under law.
He blamed the memo
on now criminal defendant, Dave Johnson, and assigns the entire bribery scandal to him
and Tom Welch.
That's Romney's story, and he's sticking with it.
"The alleged problems of the past will be in a very separate compartment," Romney says.
To the IOC, however, Romney admitted that more documents will appear from the criminal case, which may not be flattering to them.
The process will not be a good one, he told them, apologizing in advance for "the pain or hurt that these documents may cause."
IOC President Samaranch lamented the likelihood of a trial projecting a bad image for the Salt Lake games.
Romney insisted that excellently hosted games will put to rest past perceptions.
"Salt Lake City is a much bigger place with a much bigger heart than a few people who were allegedly involved in wrongdoing," Romney promises.
SLOC's strategy is to insist that the past is over, and the future now is for Salt Lake to prepare to celebrate winter athletes.
But you'd have to describe the official reception given SLOC here as cool, rather than cordial.