Confirming what has been unofficially reported for weeks, the White House has announced that President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend Friday's opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and meet with U.S. athletes.

The president will travel to Utah on Friday after a stop in Denver to discuss farm policy with cattlemen, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

Further details of Bush's schedule were not immediately disclosed. But Utah legislators have been invited to a speech by the president scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in the Capitol rotunda.

Inquiries as to whether Bush will meet with President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he is in Utah were not immediately answered. However, such a meeting would be traditional and has been widely rumored.

Salt Lake Organizing Committee spokeswoman Caroline Shaw referred all inquiries regarding Bush's visit to the White House. Shaw, however, did say, "It is tradition for the head of the host country to open the Games."

Before returning to Washington, Bush will spend the weekend at a friend's house in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vice President Dick Cheney has a home in Jackson Hole but will not be there with Bush, Fleischer said.