- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) About a dozen small planes violated the restricted airspace over the Olympic Village the first week it was in effect, and Black Hawk helicopters scrambled to escort one of them to the ground.
The violations illustrate the difficulty of making all pilots aware of the restrictions, which will be broadened Friday to include all airspace within 45 miles of the Salt Lake International Airport.
FAA spokesman Mike Fergus said helicopters enforcing the restrictions escorted one of the planes to the ground over the weekend. "Two guys jumped out and had quite the experience meeting security," Fergus said.
Secret Service spokesman Mark Connolly said there have been about a dozen violations of the airspace above the area housing Olympic athletes, but only one plane that had to be escorted to the ground.
"They all appear to be inadvertent," Connolly said. "Either the pilots didn't know about the restrictions or didn't read about them."
The FAA began restricting airspace over the Olympic village on Jan. 25, barring everything from planes to hot air balloons from flying within a 3-mile radius of the area.
Fergus said the FAA is putting pilots on notice that violations of the 45-mile airspace will not be tolerated once they go into effect Friday.

U.S. checks in
Figure skater Todd Eldredge and his American teammates needed an extra 10 minutes to get through security at the Olympic Village.
Inspectors double-checked passes and dug through bags, but none of the athletes complained.
After all, these are the Olympics. They're thrilled just to be here.
"I'm sure there are other things they're doing that we don't even know about," Eldredge said as the U.S. team arrived for the games. "It makes you feel safe."
After the team checked into the village, 60 athletes participated in a 20-minute ceremony that featured songs by a high school choir, the raising of the Stars and Stripes and a Native American dance ceremony.
"They were great, to see those guys and know that's part of our culture here," Eldredge said, referring to the dancers dressed in feathered ceremonial garb. "But I don't think I could wear that on the ice."
The United States has 211 athletes entered in the Olympics. Among those who donned the powder-blue uniforms for the ceremony was short-track speedskater Apolo Ohno, projected to win up to four gold medals.

It's all good
IOC officials have been criticized for living lavish lifestyles financed by the Olympics and cities that want to host them.
For at least one meal, though, a couple of International Olympic Committee members weren't dining on gourmet food.
Norway's Gerhard Heiberg and Britain's Michael Payne stopped for lunch at the McDonald's in the main media center after holding a news conference on the millions of dollars the IOC makes from the games.
Accompanied by some aides, Heiberg and Payne sat in the crowded lunchroom, munching on burgers and fries served up by the fast food chain.

Dog days for Emrick
Mike Emrick won't be calling hockey games for NBC during the Salt Lake City Games because his dog is sick.
Emrick, who begged off because of his pet's problem, was replaced yesterday on the network's Olympic roster by Kenny Albert.
Albert, son of NBC's lead NBA announcer Marv Albert, called NHL games for five seasons at Fox and has been the New York Rangers' play-by-play voice since 1995.
Albert and analyst Joe Micheletti will be NBC's No. 2 pair for men's hockey at the Olympics. On women's games, Albert will pair with Lisa Brown-Miller, a member of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Mascot hunting
An animal rights group is upset that some people in Utah hunt coyotes the same animal that is one of the cuddly cartoon mascots for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Zeroing in on the mascot named "Copper," the Animal Protection Institute in Sacramento has issued a news release headlined "Utah slaughters Olympic mascot," which is sharply critical of coyote hunting.


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