Originally declared as a worldwide celebration that would bring fame to the reserved town of Salt Lake City, Utah, the successful bid for the Winter Olympic Games of 2002 have yielded a whirlwind of controversy over allegations of bribery in the form of gifts to the members of the International Olympics Committee (IOC). Articles on topic will include updates on the scandal as well as efforts by the Salt Lake Olympic Committee (SLOC) to revamp its image and retain corporate sponsorship in preparation for the 2002 games.
98.01.27 - Preparations for the games are underway. It is declared that the University of Utah will be transformed into the Olympic Village.
98.09.23 - The Mormon Church opposes the pleas by the tourism and the hospitality industries to ease liquor regulations. Approximately 70% of Utah's population belongs to the Mormon church, which opposes the use of alcohol so strongly that members who admit to its consumption are not allowed to enter church temples. Proponents of easing Utah's liquor laws cite the need to accommodate visitors during the 2002 Winter games. The SLOC agreed not to seek any changes.
98.12.13 - The leader of the SLOC apologizes for the alleged rules violations during the city's successful bid for the 2002 games.
98.12.14 - Salt Lake City learns that it is not in danger of losing the 2002 Winter Games.
98.12.18 - The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing allegations of bribery in Salt Lake City's winning bid. 98.12.19 - The Bribery scandal is now in the hands of an independent ethics panel to determine if there was any misconduct by local officials. The SLOC ethics panel report is expected by February 11. The FBI in Salt Lake confirms that it, too, at the request of Attorney General Janet Reno, was reviewing the allegations to determine whether to open a formal investigation.
98.12.20 - It is discovered that the Salt Lake Olympic bid committee spend nearly $10,000 on gifts such as rifles and skis to visiting IOC members who decide where the Olympic Games are held. Salt Lake's efforts to cozy up to IOC members include providing college scholarships to some of their children.
99.01.08 - Frank Joklik, the president of the SLOC resigns but will stay on until a successor is named. He asks for and receives the resignation of senior vice president Dave Johnson.
99.01.12 - The SLOC announces that the unveiling of the mascot for the 2002 games, which was originally scheduled for February 8 to coincide with the exact three-year countdown to the Games, has been postponed indefinitely. Priority at this time is focused on the prompt resolution of all inquiries into the alleged scandal.
99.01.13 - The IOC seeks to reassure its financial backers who are becoming increasingly alarmed about the scandal surrounding the games.
99.12.28 - The U.S. Justice Department issues subpoenas to three Utah universities in connection with the Olympic scandal. Subpoenas were issued to the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Utah Valley State. The subpoenas are in reference to the admissions that the SLOC paid for college scholarships and living expenses for relatives of some IOC members before the city won the bid for the games. The Justice Departments is demanding that the schools hand over records and correspondence reflecting telephone conversations and meetings with the SLOC and the Salt Lake Bid Committee.
99.02.11 - Massachusetts venture capitalist, Mitt Romney is selected as the new head of the SLOC. Two additional committee officials resign.
99.03.14 - Unexpected costs and a possible sponsorship shortfall have driven Romney to focus on economy measures. Romney announces $14 million in immediate budget cuts in his first meeting with the executive board. He also identified a total of $84 million in potential cuts, while at the same time announcing $81 million in unexpected costs for the game. These costs include $25 million for information systems and an extra $9 million in marketing, legal, and tax fees. The changes would bring the budget from $1.45 billion to $1.52 billion.
99.03.17 - The IOC votes to expel six members of its members over
the SLOC bribery scandal. They are believed to be the first IOC members
kicked out for corruption in the panel's 105 years.
99.04.14 - The Senate Commerce Committee opens a hearing into into what went wrong during the bidding process.
99.07.08 - The Justice Department has completed its initial evidence-gathering process. Officials are weighing whether to seek indictments of anyone involved in the bidding process.
SLOC - Salt Lake Olympic Committee
IOC - International Olympic Committee