The front page "Wall Street Journal" article of July 9 on the Winter Games ("Olympic angle helps Utah ski resort gain U.S. land to expand - saved when Hatch acts") sheds more light on our loss of 1,320 acres of federal park lands to Earl Holding than all our local media sources combined. This land swap confirms my fears that the Olympics are benefiting only the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the average taxpayer. When the Games are held, the average Utahn will not be able to afford or obtain tickets to the events, yet we are in great risk of shouldering yet another huge financial burden of increased taxes. We are already paying dearly in many other ways, thanks to Leavitt's I-15 fiasco and Olympics-related construction causing disruption of our quality of life.

Now with this latest expose, it seems the Utah Olympic Committee has again proven that it is an elitist club of wealthy, self-interested players at the public trough. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Orrin Hatch has benefited financially from his association and recent support of Earl Holding's land swap.Bob Bennett moved heaven and earth for the Hatch/Holding land swap. One wonders how much Holding contributed to his campaign and how will he personally benefit from this situation? Leavitt has also accepted large contributions from Holding and has speculated in real estate for years. This is a really disturbing and unsettling trend.

It seems the Olympics are a "good deal" for politicians and the Olympic Committee's self-interest, but is it a good deal for the average citizen? Why don't we hold these Olympic beneficiaries such as Holding, Hatch, Bennett, Leavitt and others of the Organizing Committee legally and financially responsible for any deficits incurred when the Olympics conclude, especially now as we begin to realize the self-serving, conflicting interests they share? Why should Utah taxpayers be at risk? On the Olympics, count me starry-eyed no more.

M. Webster

Salt Lake City