SALT LAKE CITY — Ever since the Salt Lake City Olympics ended in 2002, officials in Vancouver have been trying to plan Games that would live up to Salt Lake's high standard, a Salt Lake business leader says.
"I consulted with Vancouver since our Olympics were over," Lane Beattie, state Olympics officer in 2002, told KSL-TV on Friday. "Salt Lake literally set the benchmark for all Olympics, doesn't matter summer or winter."
Beattie said he believes Vancouver's games have the best potential to compare to Salt Lake's successful run, and Canadians have been proactive in making sure the 2010 games are memorable.
When asked by Vancouver officials why the Salt Lake Games were so successful and how Utah had so much Olympic spirit, Beattie said the answer was the people.
"There is something unique about citizens and friendliness and welcoming the world. People were excited about it," he said.
Maxine Turner, whose company, Cuisine Unlimited, was the official caterer for the USA house during the Salt Lake and Torino Games, also has helped with the Vancouver Games after volunteering her services.
"They really looked to us as a source to helping small businesses within the province," Turner told KSL-TV.
Turner, too, said she's impressed with the Games Vancouver has planned.
"I really think they will be second to Salt Lake City," she said.
After almost a decade of planning, Beattie said all Vancouver officials need to do now is "welcome the world."
"There comes a time where all the planning is done, and things will go wrong, but they will have enough things go right," he said.
e-mail: [email protected]