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The International Olympic Committee's executive board wasn't the only group that the Salt Lake City bid delegation faced Saturday. There was also the world's media.

Actually, a sizable share of the audience at Salt Lake City's official IOC press conference were members of rival bid delegations, who sat quietly taking notes.It was the same story for the other cities bidding for the 2002 Winter Games who had IOC press conferences Saturday - Sion, Switzerland; Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia; and Jaca, Spain.

The remaining bid cities, Sochi, Russia; Graz, Austria; Ostersund, Sweden; Quebec, Canada; and Tarvisio, Italy; are all scheduled to go before the press on Sunday.

They probably shouldn't worry. Only a few questions were asked at Saturday's press conferences, including Salt Lake City's, where the sparse audience swelled to about 50.

Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee Chairman Frank Joklik said the bid represents the "combination of people with Mother Nature" and that the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains "speaks for itself."

U.S. Olympic Committee Executive Director Harvey Schiller challenged anyone to find a site for the Winter Games that offered as much for athletes as Salt Lake City, referring to the $59 million that Utah taxpayers have spent on Olympic facilities.

"I don't think there's an area anywhere in the world that can contribute more to athletes, not just in the future but today," Schiller said. "We're not just talking about the legacy of the Games, but what can be done now.

Gov. Mike Leavitt said the bid effort has grown in maturity and enthusiasm since Salt Lake first started seeking a Winter Games nearly 30 years ago. The 1989 Olympic referendum, the governor said, reaffirmed that commitment.

Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee Chairman Tom Welch took the opportunity to praise the IOC for tightening its bidding rules to help cut the cost of seeking an Olympics.

Among the changes since Salt Lake City lost the 1998 Winter Games to Nagano, Japan, in 1991, are restrictions on hosting visiting IOC members, one of the biggest expenses for bid cities.

"I congratulate the IOC," Welch said. "We think it has made the process of bidding better and certainly more affordable." He said the cost of the four-year-long bid for 2002 is about the same as the 1998 bid.

While Salt Lake City had politicians to help deliver its message to the media, other cities looked to athletes.

Sion used Olympic champion Pirmin Zurbriggen, a native son, while Poprad-Tatry had National Hockey League player Peter Stastny, who headed the Slovakian hockey team in Lillehammer, Norway.