Salt Lake City will be the last of six cities making a pitch to host the 1998 Winter Games when the International Olympic Committee meets in England next June.
Utah's Olympic organizers say they are pleased with the spot assigned in a random drawing over the weekend at a meeting of the IOC Executive Committee in Lillehammer, Norway."We're the thing they're going to remember," Robin Wagge, spokeswoman for the Salt Lake Bid Committee for the Olympic Winter Games, said Monday. "After you've seen five or six bids, a lot of them look alike."
Wagge said going last will showcase Utah's differences from the other contenders, especially in the technical quality of the facilities planned for the Winter Games.
Since another U.S. city, Atlanta, was chosen to host the 1996 Summer Games, Utah's strategy has been to emphasize what officials believe is Salt Lake City's technical superiority.
The thinking is that the promise of better facilities led Atlanta to win the upcoming Summer Games. They hope the strategy will also discourage the IOC from hesitating to give another U.S. city an Olympics so soon.
Salt Lake City and each of the other five cities competing for the Olympics will have 1 1/4-hours to convince the IOC that they should be named the site of the 1998 Winter Games.
On June 15 during IOC meetings in Birmingham, England, the first city scheduled to make a presentation is Oestersund, Sweden; followed by Jaca, Spain; Sochi, USSR; and Aosta, Italy before the IOC breaks for lunch.
Then Salt Lake City's biggest rival for the Winter Games will take its turn. Nagano, Japan, is considered by some Olympic observers to be the most likely choice because Asia has hosted only three Olympics.
Bid committee officials are in Norway this week to attend the meeting of the IOC and also make a technical presentation to the presidents of the winter sports federations that participate in the Olympics.
An IOC evaluation committee is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City in mid-January to visit the sites and see firsthand if they will be suitable to host a Winter Games.