||SALT LAKE CITY -- Four other American cities are basking in
the success of the Salt Lake City Games. They are the finalists to
be the U.S. bidder for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and all say that
smooth operations and world-welcoming crowds in Utah have helped
It's quite a change for a nation that had become an Olympic
pariah. While the international support for America since the Sept. 11
attacks might fade long before the IOC votes on a host city in 2005,
the bidders said they now have a much stronger platform -- proof
that a games in the United States can be enjoyable, efficient and
"If this had gone badly, then absolutely, it would have had an
adverse impact on the chances of any U.S. city to win the 2012
Games," said Dan Doctoroff, head of New York City's bid committee.
By avoiding the glitches and gaffes that plagued the last U.S.
Games, in Atlanta in 1996, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee has
at least placed the American candidates even with Paris, Rome, Rio
de Janeiro and other international bidders.
"Everybody tells you that the IOC carried some ill feelings
toward the United States," said Susan Bandy of Houston's bid
committee. "But this has been marvelous. We haven't given the IOC
a reason not to come back to the United States."
The IOC seems to agree.
"I think the United States is back on a level playing field by
virtue of the success of these games," said Kevan Gosper, an IOC
vice president from Australia.