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Sporting 2002 Games coat, Tipper Gore to tip her hat to S.L.

The blonde flashed a wide smile Tuesday as she modeled the coat emblazoned with logos of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics as photographers flashed pictures.

She proclaimed as she wrapped it snugly, "I love it. Isn't this nice looking?"The blonde happened to be Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore.

As she announced members of the official U.S. government delegation to the Nagano Olympics, which she will lead, Salt Lake organizers gave her the coat to advertise their upcoming Games - saying she will participate in closing ceremonies pointing the world to Utah.

Cynthia Gillespie, with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, thanked Gore for breaking a longtime tradition of sending a governmental delegation to the opening ceremonies of Olympics and instead this year to the closing ceremonies.

"This year the closing ceremonies are a very special moment for the United States. On Feb. 22, the president of the International Olympic Committee will call on the youths of the world to assemble in February 2002 in Salt Lake City to once again celebrate the Olympics on U.S. soil," Gillespie said.

"And you have chosen to send your delegation this time to be part of that closing ceremony. And for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, we consider this a very special honor that you will all be there . . . to celebrate with us as we take the flag back to the United States."

Tipper Gore responded, "Great jacket. Great Games. We look forward to it in Utah."

Other members of the official U.S. governmental delegation include Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and his wife, Joyce; Tom Foley, U.S. ambassador to Japan; former gold medal figure skater Tenley Albright Blakely; and champion figure skater Rudy Galindo.

Others include gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton; National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb; Scott Oki, chairman of Oki Developments; and Irene Beth Renge, president of Renge Securities.

Tipper Gore said she will report on activities of the delegation in a daily column for USA Today newspaper, which she will also make available on her Internet home page.

She said she will also be taking photos with a digital camera and will quickly post them on the Internet to share her experiences.