Jill Smith's contributions to Salt Lake City's 1998 Winter Olympics bid could hardly be described as glamorous.
"It was a lot of stuffing envelopes, a lot of little things that needed to be done that no one else had time to do," said Smith, one of hundreds of Olympic bid volunteers.Between planning a wedding and attending Brigham Young University, Smith worked at the bid committee office nearly every day from December through April, doing everything from answering phones to escorting Spanish-speaking journalists, putting to use the language she learned while serving an LDS Church mission to Barcelona, Spain.
But Smith, who describes herself as an Olympics junkie, said volunteering for Salt Lake City's bid was a natural extension of her early interest in the games.
As a teenager, she worked at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
"All I did was deliver results (to the international press) but it was great to see all these people from throughout the world coming together. It just impressed me these people could come together."
Smith typifies the army of volunteers who have worked on Salt Lake City's Olympic bid.
They include schoolchildren who helped greet International Olympic Committee members; T-shirt-clad volunteers who posed in the formation of the Olympic rings on a snowy hillside during the filming of the bid committee's video; and local residents who cooked dinners and entertained IOC members in their homes.
"They're all doing it because they believe in the Olympic movement," said Dave Johnson, vice president of international relations for the Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the Olympic Winter Games.
Many volunteers have helped host the IOC delegation. Each of the 62 IOC members who traveled to Salt Lake City met an average of 120 Utahns, Johnson said.
Volunteer Joe Daugirda has worked for the bid committee since April 1990 and accompanied Utah's delegation to Tokyo in the fall when the IOC awarded the 1996 Summer Olympic games to Atlanta.
He served a church mission to Japan, was stationed there for two years while serving in the Marines and speaks fluent Japanese. Bid committee members say his assistance during the Tokyo journey was invaluable.
"It's gone from the mundane - running errands, making copies - to helping write press stories, showing a lot of journalists around, especially Japanese since I speak Japanese. I've run hospitality rooms, poured drinks and made a lot of conversation," he said, softly laughing.
Daugirda, who is a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, said he is deeply committed to the spirit of the Olympics but admits bringing the games to Utah "is a lot of work. I had no idea it would be so much work."
Fred Ball, president of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said the community has been generous with its time and money. At times, the bid committee has had to turn away prospective volunteers.
"Every time we've asked, they have been willing to give us their time, money, talents and homes," Ball said. "There's no way the committee could have done this without volunteers."
Bid committee chairman Tom Welch agreed: "If ever there is a weakness in the process, it's the inability to thank the people who have done so much."