With the Olympic competition between Nagano and Salt Lake City comes an ironic twist to a friendship that has lasted more the three decades.

Just across the valley from Nagano is Matsumoto, Salt Lake City's sister city. Exchanges between Matsumoto and Salt Lake residents are frequent. Visit many homes in Matsumoto and you're apt to find some knick-knack from Salt Lake City, because of yearly visits by middle school students to Utah, most visible in the annual Days of '47 Parade.When 20 Salt Lake area residents, headed by Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis, visited Japan last September, long-time Matsumoto Mayor Shoji Wago thanked the delegation for keeping away a typhoon that had ravaged other parts of the island nation. He didn't, however, ask Salt Lake City to keep the Olympics away.

"We hope through competition we will enhance our friendly relations," Wago said.