With only 53 days remaining before the International Olympic Committee announces its choice for the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, the Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee still must raise $700,000 to maintain the momentum for Salt Lake City to receive the bid.

Thomas Welch, committee chairman, told members of the board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce he is optimistic the money will be raised and Salt Lake City will get the bid.But, he said, even if another city gets the bid, Salt Lake City still will be a winner because the area has taken a major step toward becoming the winter sports capital of the world.

Welch said the announcement of the 1998 Winter Olympics will be made in Birmingham, England, June 15 and between now and then Welch and many others will continue making their pitch to IOC members, many of whom will be "wined and dined" in Salt Lake City.