There were no takers among five members of the International Olympic Committee visiting Utah on the 50-50 odds set on Salt Lake City's chances of winning the 1998 Winter Games.
"Everything written in the newspapers is speculation," Anthonious Geesink, who represents the Netherlands, said during a press conference Wednesday. "Nobody knows (who the other members will choose) when we go to vote."None of the other four IOC members - Giorgio De Stefani of Italy, Flor Isava-Fonseca of Venezuela, Roque Napoleon Munoz Pena of the Dominican Republic and Rampaul Ruhee of Mauritius - ventured an opinion on the odds.
That's not unusual. None of the 49 IOC members who came to see Salt Lake City before them were willing to assess the city's chances of being voted the site of the 1998 Winter Games, either.
It was Barry Frank, an Olympic marketing expert in New York City, who told the Deseret News earlier this week that Salt Lake City's competition now appears to be only Ostersund, Sweden.
Frank, senior group vice president of International Management Group, said Salt Lake City has a 50-50 shot at getting the 1998 Winter Games but did not go so far as to agree with USA Today that the city is "the probable winner."
Besides Ostersund, the other cities that will be considered by the IOC when the organization meets to make its selection in England in June are Nagano, Japan; Sochi, Soviet Union; Aosta, Italy; and Jaca, Spain.
Tom Welch, chairman of the Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the Olympic Winter Games, said that the group of IOC members in town this week represents 5 percent of the organization's 92 voting members.
The bid committee hopes to get at least another 10 members of the IOC to Salt Lake City before they meet to make their decision, which is now just 36 days away.
An indication of how hard the bid committee is working to sell Salt Lake City could be the odd-looking shoe on Isava-Fonseca's left foot. It's actually a brace she has to wear after suffering a stress fracture during a walking tour.