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Friday, February 22, 2002
Flames and Flickers: Sandwich gets golden touch

ESPN.com news services

GREAT NECK, N.Y. -- They've revamped the menu at Deli on the Green, a favorite hangout in Sarah Hughes' hometown.

The "Sarah Hughes" sandwich is now called the "Golden Sarah Hughes."

These curlers
really clean up
While stars of the Olympics' glamour events are virtually guaranteed to move on to fame and fortune, even the curling champions have a chance to cash in on these games.

The British women's team that swept to the gold has been offered a deal to promote floor cleaner.

After winning Britain's first Winter Games gold since 1984, skip Rhona Martin and her crew will have an offer awaiting them when they return home.

"The scrubbing movement by the team members is the ideal way to test kitchen and bathroom floor cleaner," said a spokesman for the Safeway chain.

Long Island's Gold Coast is gold medal country now, thanks to Hughes' surprising victory Thursday night in Olympic figure skating.

"It's the best thing that could ever happen to Great Neck," said Bill Siele, where they put maple turkey and Swiss with lettuce, tomato and Thousand Island dressing on a club roll to honor their biggest star.

Alpine course workers
These Olympics aren't just about the athletes. Hundreds of volunteers help put these games on, including these taking down the women's giant slalom course.

The Gold Coast, where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby" and partied with the likes of Groucho Marx and George M. Cohan, was swept up in Sarahmania in honor of its new hometown hero.

Great Neck is an upper-middle-class community about 25 miles from Manhattan, where Mercedes are the vehicles of choice and where a thrift shop proclaims on a handwritten paper sign: "We Have Versace."

Siele said Matt Hughes is a big fan of the sandwich named for his sister, but when Sarah shows up, she usually orders egg-white sandwiches.

"She's got to keep her weight down so she can do all that spinning," he said.

The Great One an American? Almost
SALT LAKE CITY -- If it weren't for his grandfather's decision to flee his homeland 85 years ago, then leave the United States shortly afterward, Wayne Gretzky might be running the Olympic hockey teams of America or Belarus.

Instead, Gretzky is the chief of the Canadian men's team that moved into the gold medal game with a 7-1 semifinal victory over Belarus on Friday. Canada faces the United States, which beat Russia 3-2, in the final Sunday.

Gretzky's grandpa, Tony, left what is now Belarus in 1917 and traveled to Chicago with the intent of joining the U.S. Army.

But, learning that the Canadian army paid better, Tony moved again to Winnipeg, where he joined the military.

Gretzky said his grandfather didn't leave Russia for political reasons, but simply because living conditions were so poor.

"He didn't have anything good to say about the place," Gretzky said. "Like a lot of people, he just left."

Maybe it wasn't the nails
Janica Kostelic, the skiing star of the games, featured a different family member's name on her fingernails during each of her first three medal-winning races.

But her record fourth medal Friday, a gold in the women's giant slalom, was not matched by a new manicure.

Kostelic painted her brother's name "I-V-I-C-A" on the nails of her left hand for the combined event. She had "M-A-M-A-!" on her nails during the super giant slalom.

When she won the slalom Wednesday, her nails spelled "T-A-T-A-!" (Dad, in Croatian).

But "T-A-T-A-!" remained on her nails as she won the giant slalom, her third gold of the games.

"I was too lazy yesterday to change it," she said.

Their gold on hold
Like Olympic athletes, Utah ski resorts are going for gold on the state's slopes -- only theirs won't come until after the games.

Lift ticket sales are down by 50 percent for the two weeks of the games, but resort operators expect to make up for lost business next year or even sooner.

"We anticipated being down during this period in time," said Ski Utah president Kip Pitou. "It's an investment in the future for us. All the resorts were prepared to accept that."

Dave Fields of Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort said: "This has been a big down payment on an unknown result. We don't know yet what the pot of gold can be at the end of the rainbow."

The three resorts hosting events -- Snowbasin, Deer Valley and Park City -- have had plenty of visitors during the games. But most Olympic fans haven't hit the slopes, despite promotions offering discounted lift tickets, and local skiers and snowboarders have stayed home.

Welch says it wasn't bribery
The city's Olympic bid chief, who lavished $1 million in cash and favors on International Olympic Committee delegates and family members, says it wasn't bribery.

"It wasn't a quid pro quo. It wasn't, 'I'll give you this, you give me that,"' Tom Welch told "60 Minutes" for a broadcast planned Sunday, the final day of the city's Winter Olympics.

In a transcript of the interview, Welch said he had no choice but to lavish gifts and favors on International Olympic Committee members, just as other bid cities were doing.

He called it "a process of excess from beginning to end."

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department appealed a decision that threw out 15 felony charges of bribery racketeering, fraud and conspiracy against Welch and his deputy, Dave Johnson.

"A bribe is when I offer to give you something and in return you give me something," Welch told "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace. "These guys were never asked for their votes. Their votes were never promised."