"The World is Welcome Here," and the Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the Winter Olympic Games wants everyone to know it.

That's why 400 area sixth-graders rallied their artistic talents to express the committee's theme on postcards.Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee, honored the competitors Friday at the Red Lion Hotel.

Salt Lake City Mayor Palmer A. DePaulis presented gold, silver and bronze Salt Lake City Winter Games commemorative medallions to first, second and third place winners in the My Olympic Winter Dreams Art Contest.

Ann Brown, a sixth-grader at H.C. Burton Elementary in Kaysville, won the gold. Her teacher is Sarah Harris.

Dax Rapp took silver honors. His sixth-grade teacher at Leo J. Muir Elementary in Bountiful is Cheryl Christensen.

And the bronze went to Travis Harding, a sixth-grader at Bennion Elementary in Salt Lake City. His teacher is JoAnn Crawley.

Seven honorable mention winners received a bid committee T-shirt: Jeffries Breed, Blake Clark, Jordan Taggart, Eric Larsen, Danielle Wells, Denise In Chiao Hui and Brian Abel.

Each participant received an Olympic Art Certificate of Excellence.

The ten winning entries will be featured in two postcards to be sent throughout the world to IOC voting members prior to the selection of the 1998 Winter Games host city in Birmingham, England, on June 15.

A 25-foot display panel, complete with all 400 entries, was unveiled during the awards presentation. The display will remain in the lobby of the Red Lion Hotel through April 30 and then be transferred to the first floor of the City and County Building.

Sixth-graders in the Jordan, Granite, Murray, Salt Lake and Davis school districts were invited to participate. Chairwoman Mary Gaddie said in a letter to teachers that the purpose of the contest was to "capture the very real dreams of your students participating in this multifaceted, once-in-a-lifetime event."

Students were to create their postcards using a variety of media, including crayons, markers and watercolors. Their task was to illustrate how they would see themselves participating either as a volunteer, organizing or hospitality committee member, or actual competitor if the Winter Olympics come to Salt Lake City in 1998.

The contest was sponsored by the Deseret News, Salt Lake Community College, Utah State Board of Education, Red Lion Hotel, the Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and Lorraine Press.