Letter to the Editor

By Aileen Olsen

Editor:

I understand that when one is presenting an opinion, one is not likely to spend a lot of time explaining information about the opposite view. However, Laura Weiss’ Oct. 16 article supporting the “nays” on the proposed placement of the Olympic rings on a foothill north of the University of Utah is not just biased, it is severely lacking in accuracy.

In her report on the Oct. 3 Greater Avenues Community Council meeting, where this proposal was a hotly discussed topic, she writes: “Out of approximately 70 people in attendance, only one person liked SLOC’s ring proposal.”

It is true that after an hour of hearing negative comments, far-flung excuses and self centered whines, I was the only one willing to stand up and express my support for the proposals presented. But though I was the only person who spoke at length in support of the rings, there were more than just me who liked the proposal.

The leaders of the community council, who presented this concept at the meeting, clearly supported it. The final vote in the meeting on this issue was 52 to 28 against. In my reckoning, this means that more than one third of those present were in support of the Olympic rings proposal. I do not dare to suppose why the author of the article ignored this result.

I left the meeting frustrated and rattled. It seems the new feelings of unity, community and sharing among Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks are not alive in the Avenues ?at least not in the representatives of the community who attended that night.

I am thankful that Mayor Anderson is able to realize the great positive impact lighted Olympic rings will have in creating a welcoming atmosphere in our city. I am convinced that the Salt Lake Olympic Committee did its best in presenting a proposal that would have the most minimal long-term environmental effects.

I agree with Weiss’ statement that “This is the chance for students and community members to become involved in shaping the way that Utah presents itself to the world. Take the initiative.”

Yes, we must. Speak out positively. For if we do not, those who had said, “This Is Not The Place,” will continue to scream for attention until their voices outshout the rest of us who are willing to support “the largest peacetime gathering of the human race.?

The world needs this gathering, now, to lift its spirits. And we, as citizens of Salt Lake City and the United States, should feel both proud and honored for the privilege to be host to it!

For those who wouldn’t have chosen the Olympics here, don’t continue to begrudge; accept it, and instead of griping, do something to make the situation better.

We should all be willing to go a bit out of our way to accommodate and welcome our guests. We have the opportunity to strengthen and cheer up the world! Let’s not choose to be grouches.

Aileen Olsen

Staff, School of Medicine