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Salt Lake Ready for Olympic Flag

Associated Press
Sunday, February 22, 1998; 6:52 p.m. EST

SALT LAKE CITY — Organizers of the 2002 Winter Games say they're ready to take up the torch once Salt Lake welcomes the Olympic flag.

The white flag with five interlocked rings, symbol of the Games since 1952, was passed to Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini during closing ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Games on Sunday.

On Monday, Corradini and Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Frank Joklik will bring it to Salt Lake City on a specially chartered Delta jet.

Steve Young, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, will be among those welcoming the flag at a 3:30 p.m. celebration at the Delta hangar of Salt Lake City International Airport.

After the airport welcome, Corradini is to take the flag by special motorcade to the City and County Building and raise it on a newly constructed flag pole on the east side of the grounds. The replica will continue to fly there until Salt Lake hosts the Games four years from now.

Salt Lake's celebration was already getting underway Sunday evening, with a party at the Delta Center featuring winter sports demonstrations, entertainment, fireworks and a replay of the Nagano closing ceremonies on the arena's Jumbotron.

The Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce sponsored that party and hoped to sell 3,000 pins commemorating the day the flag was passed to Salt Lake City.

After Monday, however, the time for celebrating will be over.

"Frankly, I'm itching to get back at it,'' said Joklik, who spent the past three weeks meeting with key Olympic officials, inspecting venues, attending events and pushing his staff to keep working on a project-oriented budget due out in the fall.

Top priorities for SLOC are to develop a budget that accounts for every penny that must be spent; hire people for critical positions; and to instill public confidence that SLOC is not going to hit up taxpayers between now and 2002 to pay for the Games.

Because of the Nagano experience, Utah organizers will work to establish a "look and feel'' for the Games.

Corradini said she is not worried about Salt Lake City developing an appropriate nightlife for the Games.

"There's no question in my mind that Main Street is going to be filled with people,'' she said. ``My hope is that we can convince someone in every neighborhood, on every street, to do something that is festive.''

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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