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DOUBLE NOD

Former Olympic twins Steve and Phil Mahre, with Salt Lake Winter Games Organizing Committee Chairman Tom Welch looking on, Monday endorsed Salt Lake City's bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics. "This is the ideal site for the Olympic Games," said Phil Mahre, who brought back a gold medal in the slalom in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Steve Mahre won a silver in the 1984 Olympic Slalom. Phil Mahre called Salt Lake City "a step ahead" of Anchorage, Alaska; Denver; and Reno-Tahoe, Nev. - the other cities bidding for the Games - because of the city's attention to meeting the needs of Olympic athletes. Salt Lake City, like other cities bidding for the Games, is pledging to become the "winter sports capital" of the nation to offer training facilities to winter Olympics athletes. Mahre declined to speculate on Salt Lake City's chances of winning the bid.