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Report: Diana Planned Nagano Speech

Associated Press
Saturday, February 7, 1998; 11:52 p.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan — Princess Diana had been expected to take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, a senior official with the Nagano organizing committee said.

Details of what Diana would do at the games had not been set when she died in a Paris car crash Aug. 31, commmittee spokesman Akio Yoshida said Sunday.

Kyodo News service reported that the talks were under way to have Diana run with the torch and possibly give a speech, but Yoshida said that was unlikely, and that the brainstorming centered around her taking part in a charity walk against land mines.

Diana was contacted because she had been a strong and visible proponent of banning land mines, Yoshida said.

Chris Moon, who lost an arm and a leg to a land mine blast, brought the torch in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday for the opening ceremony. He was a friend of Diana's.

Talks about inviting Diana began in March, Kyodo said, and the Nagano Olympic Organizing Committee contacted her through a Japanese organization concerned with refugees.

"Had Diana, who was loved the world over, been able to participate as a torch carrier and fulfill other roles, it would have been an Olympics watched even more closely by the world,'' Kyodo quoted an unidentified organizing committee official as saying.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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