If the opinions of two members of the United States Gymnastics Federation - including one who is a voting member of the U.S. Olympic Committee - mean anything, Utah would make a great place to host the Winter Olympics.
The president of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Mike Donahue, said the Olympic trials in Salt Lake this week have greatly enhanced the state's chances to win the U.S. Olympic Committee's bid to host the games in the future."This shows they have the team in place to run a world-class event," Dona-hue said. He said the Utah Sports Foundation is working with the right people who will make the final decisions.
"This creates a confidence that they can do it on a larger scale," he said.
"I definitely think they will (host the Winter Olympics), and I definitely think they should," said Mike Jacki, executive director of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation. Jacki was in Salt Lake City for the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials at the Salt Palace.
Jacki gave Salt Lake City a "10" rating on a 1-to-10 scale because of the its excellent facilities and the convenience of those facilities.
"(Utah) would set a new standard for the Olympics," he said. "No one would be able to compete with Salt Lake City."
But what about the negatives of Utah playing host to the world? Neither man thinks there are any serious reservations.
"Salt Lake is the type of community that has a good sports foundation and enthusiasm," Jacki said. "If there are problems, I'm sure the community could respond to them."
Donahue said the facilities, the training opportunities, the proximity of downtown, the extracurricular activities for the athletes and the enthusiasm of the community all combine to make Salt Lake a very appealing option for the Olympic committee.
Donahue said it is hard to say when Utah could be chosen because of the politics involved. Anchorage, Alaska, is the U.S. candidate for the 1994 Winter Olympics. If the International Olympic Committee chose Alaska, it would be difficult to say when the United States would host the event again.
Both men believe, however, that Utah has proven itself capable and viable.