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Flames and Flickers: Why so much beef?

2/17/2002

SALT LAKE CITY -- Vegetarians and other finicky eaters are
starving at the beef-eaters Olympics.

There are beef hot dogs, beef chili and even the vegetable soup
is made with beef stock at the concession stands.

No veggie burgers in these mountains.

The limited menus have caused grumbling fans with rumbling
stomachs.

One man yelled "I'm starving!" from the middle of a line
waiting for the shuttle after a three-hour luge competition.

"Upscaling" was not part of the Olympic food plan, said Don
Pritchard, director of food services. Hauling food, water and
cooking equipment up a steep ski hill proved logistically difficult
and too costly.

"If people say this is basic, they are right on," he said.

Way too basic for many.

"This is a world-class event; you'd think they could have some
fish or some garlic chicken or something," John Gould said at Utah
Olympic Park. "Ten or 15 years ago you expected crummy food, but
now lots of sports have upscaled it."

Deer Valley, a resort known by foodies for such treats as
soy-glazed sea scallops, was so displeased with the low Olympic
standards that they set up their own food tent -- offering caesar
salad, turkey chili and cookies.

All venues offer nachos, soup, muffins, glazed nuts and beef
products. Some of the indoor venues offer more choices, including
popcorn and pizza.

Kevin Strohl, from Ohio, doesn't eat beef. "This is cattle
country here," he said. "If we were in Lake Placid, I guarantee
we'd have different things to eat."

Showing their colors
Canadian skaters Jamie Sale and David
Pelletier weren't the only ones taking a victory lap around the
Olympics. Russian co-gold medalist Elena Berezhnaya was having a
pretty good time, too.

Berezhnaya, surrounded by fellow skaters and coaches, helped
wave the Russian flag and cheer on her country's hockey team
Saturday night against the United States.

Between periods, she signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Among the group with Berezhnaya was silver medal winner Evgeni
Plushenko, 1992 gold medal champion Viktor Petrenko, and coach
Alexei Mishin.

Her partner, Anton Sikharulidze, also was at the game that ended
in a 2-2 tie.

Committe honors Shea Sr.
Jack Shea, the late patriarch of the
only family to produce three generations of American Olympic
athletes, was honored Sunday with the U.S. Olympic Committee's
highest award.

The Olympic Torch Award was given posthumously to Shea, a double
gold-medalist in speedskating at the 1932 Winter Games. Shea was
killed in an auto accident just before the start of the Salt Lake
City Olympics.

His son, Jim Shea Sr., accepted the award from USOC president
Sandy Baldwin.

Jim Shea Sr. was a skier in the 1964 Winter Games, and his son,
Jim Jr., is a skeleton racer on this year's team.

Climb every mountain
When volunteer gate judges Gary Wright and Jena
Haldeman decided to get married at the top of the downhill course,
all they had to do was find a preacher -- with an Olympic
credential.

Security was an obstacle since only people with credentials --
issued months ago -- are allowed on the Mount Ogden course. The
lovebirds finally found a Snowbasin ski patroller who is an
ordained minister.

"We intended to just escape to Las Vegas, but this is a lot
more romantic," Haldeman said before Sunday's ceremony.

Wearing their Olympic volunteer uniforms, the couple exchanged
vows then took a trip back down the aisle -- skiing down the
mountain together.

It's gold, 'mate
Thousands of miles from the ice in Salt Lake
City, balmy Brisbane celebrated Australia's first Winter Olympics
gold, won by the local surfer with a goatee, spiked blond hair and
an eyebrow ring.

Steven Bradbury, who came from far behind to win the 1,000-meter
speedskating Saturday when the other four finalists crashed, trains
in one of the two ice rinks in Brisbane.

Acacia Ridge manager Dell Whelan was inundated with calls after
Bradbury's win.

"It's just amazing," she said. "I've known Steven for about
12 years; he's been training here all that time. His dad was a past
Australian speed skater as well."

After monitoring the race on the internet, Queensland Ice Racing
vice president Ian Caldecutt said the gold medal would inspire
young skaters.

"My son and my daughter are skaters," Caldecutt said.
"Everybody has always looked up to him as the person to follow
because he's done so well in the sport."