- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2002

From combined dispatches
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The busiest four years of Evelina Christillin's life are about to begin, and she can't wait.
"It will be thrilling," said Christillin, deputy president of the organizing committee for the next Winter Olympics, in Turin, Italy, in 2006.
Christillin was the force behind the bid that won the games for the northern Italian city. As the white Olympic flag is passed from Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson to Turin mayor Sergio Chiamparino at the conclusion of these games, so, too, does the spotlight shift back to Europe.
"We have looked forward to this moment," said Christillin, working with a $1.3 billion budget.
She, committee president Valentino Castellini and other organizers have spent weeks studying the ski slopes and skating rinks of Utah, picking up planning tips on how to do it four years down the road.
One thing's certain: Turin will have a much different look, feel and focus than Salt Lake.
"We will not try to imitate," Christillin said. "We do really hope to do as well as America. But we are Italians. You are Americans Western Americans. We don't have the wide-open space. We don't have the hotels or the eight-lane interstate highways into the mountains as you do. We will have to do some things differently."
Turin is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, on the banks of the Po River. Like Salt Lake City, the skiing events will take place in the surrounding mountains, mostly in the Alpine resort of Sestriere.
But unlike Utah's capital, Turin will have many venues within the city limits. An old marketplace will be the site of the Olympic Village. Ice sports will be in town, with a new 12,500-seat arena for hockey and a remodeled 10,000-seat rink for figure skating and short track.
"The focal point will be the city," Christillin said. "We are building arenas and halls downtown. I think they will be different games."

NBC finds winning formula
The high TV ratings for the Salt Lake City Games will have a lasting effect on NBC's coverage of the next three Olympics.
The biggest shifts: fewer prime-time hours, fewer features, and more live action on cable, including new acquisition Telemundo.
"We're evolving a strategy now where we're going to look very hard at making a lot of the [coverage] as live as possible," NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said yesterday, a few hours before the closing ceremony in Salt Lake City.
About 50 percent of the competition shown on NBC's evening broadcasts has been live for most of the country, although the entire West Coast feed was on a 2-hour delay most nights.
Through Saturday, the average prime-time rating was 19, which is 15 percent higher than for the 1998 Nagano Olympics on CBS (the lowest-rated Winter Games since '68) and 36 percent higher than for the 2000 Sydney Olympics on NBC.
NBC won every hour of prime time during Salt Lake City, which got off to a good start with the highest-rated Olympic opening ceremony in history. On cable, CNBC almost tripled and MSNBC more than quadrupled their average audiences.
NBC's prime-time shows from Athens in two years will be "in the 4-hour range," Ebersol said. The plan is to have live coverage from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on MSNBC, and there could also be live soccer and baseball coverage on Telemundo, a Spanish language channel purchased by NBC last year.
"My hope is that we'll have at least a midday or midafternoon show live from Athens on NBC," Ebersol said. "The prime-time show there's nothing we can do about that, because of the 7-hour time difference from Athens [to the Eastern time zone]."

Shea's '32 skates returned
The leather cracked and faded, but the blades still gleaming, the skates that Jack Shea rode to two gold medals 70 years ago were returned to his son and grandson, ending an extraordinary journey.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Jimmy Shea, a third-generation Olympian who became the family's second gold medalist by winning the skeleton at these Winter Olympics.
Jack Shea last saw his skates after winning two speedskating golds at the Lake Placid Games in 1932 when he swapped them with Japanese skier Yamada Katsumi for Nordic skis.
Almost a half-century ago, Katsumi passed the skates along to a young friend who was a speedskater.
That youngster's name was Kozo Yoshida. Now 62 and a horse breeder in Hokkaido, Japan, Yoshida decided to return the skates to the Shea family after learning that Jack died in a car crash last month. He was 91.
Yoshida called the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Japan, and the newspaper arranged for a flight attendant to hand-deliver the skates from Tokyo to Salt Lake City.
Yomiuri Shimbun executive Kazuhiro Takaoka presented the skates to Jimmy and his father, Jim, an Olympic cross-country skier in 1964.
"Hey, look, it's Jack's signature," Jimmy said, examining a scratched but still-solid plate on one of the skates.
He said Yoshida's gesture is indicative of the Olympic spirit.
"Today I was showed some extreme greatness and kindness," he said. "The Olympics are not about the gold, not about the politics, but about the friendships."
Completing the circle, Jimmy gave Takaoka a runner from his gold medal-winning sled to be presented to Yoshida.

Any pub is good pub
Russian pairs skater Anton Sikharulidze believes the judging furor and other controversies were a publicity gold mine for the Games.
"If everything were to go quietly, nobody would watch the games, there would not be enough interest with the general public. It is cool the way it is," Sikharulidze said upon his return to Moscow.
Sikharulidze and partner Yelena Berezhnaya played down the uproar over their victory, the first in a series of events that angered Russian Olympic officials.
Though many Russians resent the decision to give a second gold to the Canadian pair, saying it showed an anti-Russian bias, Sikharulidze doesn't agree.
"No one has asked me to cut off a piece of my well-earned medal and give it away," he said. "Even if six more gold medals were awarded it would not have decreased the value of my victory. Myself, I feel great."
Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze were awarded the gold over Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier in a close decision, but Sale and Pelletier later were awarded their own gold after a French judge said she was pressured to vote a certain way.
The Russians also complained about 10-time Olympic medalist Larissa Lazutina 's disqualification for failing a doping test prior to the cross country relay, skater Irina Slutskaya 's second-place finish to American Sarah Hughes in figure skating, refereeing in men's hockey and an alleged "anti-Russian" bias at the games.
Russian president Vladimir Putin issued a statement congratulating Russia's Olympic athletes and taking note of the games' controversies.
"I thank all those who did not lose heart in this difficult atmosphere," the statement said. "The decision taken by our team to go this especially difficult Olympic distance to the finish was mature."
Russia had threatened to pull out of the games before their finish, but later relented.

Finders keepers
The Salt Lake City-area prison inmates sorting glass from trash at a recycling plant for $1 an hour didn't have expectations of getting in on any Winter Olympics action.
But then a cardboard box of those coveted blue berets the American Olympic Team ones being scalped for up to $120 each rolled across the conveyor belt.
Larry Redmond, knowing he'd struck gold, snatched them up and stuffed them away.
"You feel like now you've been in the Olympics," said the grinning 36-year-old. "When I get out of [prison], I'll say that I was a waste engineer, helping recycle things for the Olympics."
Redmond is not allowed to wear a beret on the job, and was not supposed to keep the souvenirs. But don't tell that to his sister, who soon will be the lucky recipient of the hottest retail item at the Winter Games.

Best of both worlds
When Clara Hughes won two cycling bronze medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she was just tuning up.
"The two Olympics I have participated in as a cyclist were just training to make my skating dream come true," the Canadian said after adding a speedskating bronze to her collection.
Hughes, 29, was third in both the road race and individual time trial at Atlanta. In the 2000 Summer Games at Sydney, she finished sixth in the time trial.
Only one athlete has won gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics: American Eddie Eagan won a lightweight boxing gold in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium, and gold in 1932 at Lake Placid as part of the four-man bobsled team.
The other winter-summer medalists: Jacob Tullin Thams of Norway, gold in large-hill ski jumping in 1924, silver in eight-meter sailing in 1936; Christa Luding-Rothenburger of the former East Germany, gold in speedskating in 1984, silver in match sprint cycling in 1988.


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