ABC Television and the White House have joined the U.S. Olympic Committee in appealing to the American people to maintain contributions despite President Carter's decision that no United States team should participate in this summer's Olympic Games in Moscow.
ABC taped in interview today with F. Don Miller, USOC executive director, to be shown on the network's Winter Olympics coverage in the in the conversation, which he requested, Miller explains that only about 10 percent or the USOC's $43 million budget for the four-year period ending Dec. 31 was earmarked for sending a team to Moscow.
"We will have a pressing need for funds to maintain our training centers, our sports medicine programs, and to provide grass-roots development funds to the national governing bodies of various sports," Miller said after the interview, which he initiated with Roone Arledge, president of ABC News and Sports and executive producer of the network's Olympic operations.
"We have had a deleterious impact on our fund raising during the last couple of weeks, and we hope the American people will be responsive to our needs," Miller said.
The USOC's programs are entirely funded by private and corporate contributions. Collections were ahead of target through January but have dwindled since Carter made clear his position that U.S. athletes should not compete in Moscow because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
White House counsel Lloyd Cutler, who reiterated the president's final and unequivocable opposition to American participation in Moscow in a telephone's call to USOC officials Tuesday night, said today that the administration fully supports the USOC's fund-raising efforts.
Cutler previously had raised the possibility that the government might reimburse the USOC for revenue lost as a result of complying with the president's decision.
"We can't commit the Congress, of course, but considering the broad congressional and public support. I think it would be possible." Cutler said. "It probably would depend on how big their shortfull is. But the USOC would prefer to raise the money privately."
A State Department official admitted today that the failure of nine European Common Market nations to take a united stand against participation in the Moscow Games at their meeting in Rome on Tuesday was "not very encouraging." He repeated earlier estimates that at least 50 countries would join the United States in pulling out of the Games.
The official put a "prenature and unfortunate" brand on broadcast reports that a plan for alternative games in four cities this summer would be announced within two weeks.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee president, Lord Killanin of Ireland, said that "most national Olympic committees seem to be very positive about going to Moscow."
"So far I only have hearsay. I think everyone's waiting for meetings the next week or two to decide. But I think the reaction to the Carter attitude is pretty negative," Killanin told The Washington Post.
The USOC's Miller said he has been in contact with the Olympic committees of most major nations, including West Germany and Great Britain, since early January and that they show "a very definite reaction in favor of participating in Moscow."
The Salvation Army which set up courtesy kitchens earlier, said it served only 2,500 people Tuesday, fewer than half of the 5,400 served Sunday when frigid temperatures and an undependable shuttle bus system created hot tempers for spectators stranded in the cold.
"It's really going smooth now," said the Salvation Army's regional director, Charles McIntyre.
Commander Robert Schneeman said the 700 state troopers in Lake Placid had made seven felony arrests, and 320 arrests and citations for traffic violations -- including 20 for drunk driving, 48 misdemeanor arrests and 113 accident investigations.