Promoting Salt Lake City's dreams of hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics could be tough on the waistline.

One of the feature events of the four-day U.S. Olympic Committee meeting was a semiformal soiree at a Portland athletic club bedecked with ice sculptures and replete with oysters on a half shell and cucumber pate.Salt Lake Olympics organizers in Portland munched food and mingled among USOC delegates pushing the city's Olympics bid, calling the USOC social scene an important means of selling the city.

"We're going for the gold," said Mike Zuhl, chief of staff to Mayor Palmer DePaulis.

"We're just lobbying, the same thing they do back in Washington," said Neil Richardson, of the city's organizing committee.

Elsewhere, other cities like Denver filled hospitality rooms with food and drink and invited USOC delegates and news reporters inside to promote their interest in the Games.

But the social hour can go only go so far, said USOC spokesman Mike Moran. "We don't allow wining and dining."