Three years ago the people of Anchorage voted overwhelmingly in favor of hosting the 1994 Winter Olym-pics, but that was before they realized they would have to foot the bill if the Games lost money.

Tuesday, just three weeks before the host city is chosen by the International Olympic Committee, they vote on whether they really want the athletic extravaganza.The Anchorage Organizing Committee has insisted from the start that not a penny of tax money would ever be spent on the Olympics, and, in fact, they would make a profit. But AOC officials failed to tell the public until last April what they had learned a week before the 1985 vote - that the host city must accept financial responsibility for the Games.

Support melted away quickly, setting the stage for an election - in the form of a long ballot measure - to decide whether Anchorage voters want the Games, and whether they want the city obligated to pay any debts.