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|| News Item: Posted 2002-01-23

Sixteen Days and Counting
Winter Olympic Predictions

By Trent Nelson, The Salt Lake Tribune

I can't believe the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake are finally about to start. After the three previous articles, I'm running out of material for this one. But since I already blew the advance for this piece on a new PowerBook, here goes.
Here are my predictions for the 2002 Winter Games:

* Hanashiro will come down with food poisoning.
* A photographer still trying to get a good sports photograph with a Canon D30 will be looked on with pity by those better equipped. (UPI photographers, this is not directed at you- I know you aren't using D30's yet.)
* The driver of a media bus will be verbally abused in a language other than American. (This prediction may occur repeatedly.)
* You will miss an incredibly great shot at least once.
* You will freeze your ass off.
* Something big will happen. Or it won't.
* You will see a Mormon and not realize that they're Mormon.
* You will see a Mormon and it will be completely obvious.
* Your batteries will go dead at an inopportune moment.
* There is a tall, lanky giant in a leather vest who will pass you the secret documents, which will be in a black briefcase.
* A well-known wire-service photographer will drive you crazy at the gymnastics venue, going on and on about how the tight leotards are turning him on, driving him nuts. Why, he hasn't seen his wife in weeks! Oh, wait, that was a leftover note from the Summer Games in Atlanta. I guess it could happen at Ice Dancing, though.

So now you're on the plane on your way to our beautiful airport. And you've got all of these ideas about Utah. Let's face it- Utah is a national punch-line. No other state delivers as many laughs. After living here for several years, I've come to realize there aren't really any unfair characterizations about Utah and its weirdness. But in its defense, the jokes and stereotypes are mostly exaggerated. Do we have polygamists and most of the world's Osmonds? You bet! But aside from that, Utah remains one of the most beautiful places in the world.

A brief run-down on what you've heard about Utah:

Utah's Polygamists - While the LDS Church renounced the practice in the 1800's (and excommunicates those "practicing" it), there are thousands of people living a polygamist lifestyle throughout Utah. But it's a secret society that keeps a very low profile. In fact, the only one dumb enough to take his lifestyle public (Tom Green) was thrown in jail for it this year and is now facing child-rape charges.

Utah's Liquor Laws - What can I say? Utah's liquor laws are lame. But do you really think that anyone can keep you away from the fiery elixir that you crave from the deepest recesses of your black soul? No matter what flaming hoops you must jump through, the devil-water is calling you, drawing you nearer to it, and you cannot refuse its glorious promise of thirst-quenching inebriation!

Photo by
The Osmonds - Oh, come on. Now you're reaching! The Osmonds were popular in the 70's. Utah's been saddled with those jokes for years. You don't really think they're still around, do you? Give us credit for something. Utahns are tired of being ridiculed for the Osmonds. Oh, wait. I take it back. The Osmonds are performing a series of concerts locally (sans Donny & Marie) throughout the Olympics.

Oh boy, just as my deadline is about to hit, I just got a pdf version of SLOC's Facilities Guide for Journalists. Here are a few last minute tidbits (some of which we've touched on before):

If you have your Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card (your credential) already, you can activate it when you arrive at the Salt Lake Airport. If you do not, you can get your credential at the Main Press Center immediately.

There are five distinct media shuttle systems:
1. Airport to Media Housing
2. Media Housing to Main Press Center
3. Main Press Center to Venues
4. Media Housing to Venues (limited service)
5. Venue to Venue (only Park City Venues/Soldier Hollow and E-Center/Olympic Oval

The Bullpen at the Main Press Center will have 300 phones and power at every seat.

Strobes, tripods, and stepladders are all prohibited.

Kodak is expecting a one-hour turnaround for C-41; two-hour turnaround for E-6; four or five-hour turnaround for Sebastiao Salgado and his black and white film. If you plan on shooting Kodachrome, bring your own time machine so you can travel back to the years before Kodak stopped processing it.

Also, Soldier Hollow will have on-site C-41 processing.

There will be media centers that both accredited and non-accredited media can use in downtown Salt Lake City (Utah! Media Center, 230 West 200 South) and in Park City (Park City Media Center, lower level of the Main Street Mall).

And remember, international visitors, in the United States it is customary to tip the author of this article. U.S. dollars are the preferred currency.

Actually, that last one's just a joke. I'll take tips in any currency other than khat.

One other question I've been getting lately is "Where can I buy snowshoes, crampons, etc.?" For all of those winter expedition-type needs I would recommend Wasatch Touring (700 East and 100 South) or, if you have a car, REI (approximately 3300 South and 2700 East). Also right downtown (west of the Ice Center) in Gateway Plaza is Galyan's Sporting Goods.

And, since this is the last chance to say anything in Sports Shooter before the Salt Lake madness begins-

Eat at Café Trang (Vietnamese), Bombay House (Indian), Market St. Grill (seafood), Baci (Italian), Café Molise (Italian), and any of the freelance taco stands around 800 South State Street. And for a true Utah-only experience, get some french fries at a burger joint and ask for "fry sauce" to dip them in.

I'll be covering everything at the Utah Olympic Park and whatever else I can cram into each day. If you're coming, good luck and have fun! It's going to be way cool and it will really suck. Or maybe just one of those, we'll know very shortly.

(Trent Nelson is News Editor of Photography at The Salt Lake Tribune. His e-mail address is All queries welcome. (And it really was just a joke about giving me money.)


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