The most important event on International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch's agenda during his whirlwind visit to Salt Lake City this week may be watching a five-minute video.
Samaranch on Thursday was among the first to see a new animated version of the top-secret design chosen recently by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to represent the 2002 Winter Games.It's not all he's doing while he's here. In less than 48 hours, Samaranch will have been the guest of honor at two parties, taken a helicopter tour, met with local leaders and attended a Jazz playoff game.
The leader of the organization that selected Salt Lake City to host the 2002 Winter Games arrived late Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to leave Friday morning.
He's traveling by private jet, courtesy of Earl Holding, the organizing committee trustee who owns Little America, Sinclair Oil and the Snowbasin ski resort, which is hosting Olympic ski races in 2002.
Samaranch was already set to preside at Saturday's dedication of new U.S. Olympic complex facilities in Colorado Springs, Colo., when he decided to make his second trip to Salt Lake City.
Utah's Olympic organizers plan to show him that a lot has changed since he first visited six years ago, during the failed bid for the 1998 Winter Games. One change that's yet to come is a new logo.
Earlier this month, organizing committee trustees saw slides of the new logo during a closed-door meeting and agreed to send it on to the IOC in May for final approval.
Now they have a chance to hear what the top Olympic boss thinks of the design before submitting it to the IOC Executive Committee, which is meeting in Monte Carlo next month.
The design needs the IOC Executive Committee's go-ahead before it can be registered as a trademark around the world. Once that's done, it'll be unveiled to the public, probably over the Labor Day weekend.
"I'm real nervous," Mary Gaddie, the organizing committee's image director, said before the video presentation to Samaranch. "This is a man who has seen many, many Olympic logos and symbols. . . . He's the expert of experts."
Gaddie said the design is now animated to bring together all its elements. Just what those elements are is what organizers are trying to keep secret, although it's been suggested they include American Indian motifs.
Despite the effort that's been made to transform the slides into a three-dimensional story, Gaddie said there's still plenty of time before the IOC meeting to change anything Samaranch doesn't like.
"We're refining it all the time," she said, referring to Landor/Evans+, the team of advertising agencies hired for the project. "We're really excited. It's the first element that gives SLOC an identity."