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Olympic turnaround by Michael Payne

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5. Beyond a brand

Lillehammer, Norway, February 9th 1994

Preparing for the Lillehammer Winter Games in 1994, the news was dominated by coverage of the destruction of Sarajevo. Some of the venues which had played host to the Winter Games ten years before were now cemeteries.

Approaching the opening ceremony, Samaranch had a formal prepared speech. As usual, it had been worked on repeatedly to strike the right chord, acknowledge the right people and send the right message. There was nothing radical in it; nothing that could be construed as political.

Truth be told, the set piece was awful. I was supposed to rehearse Samaranch for the English part. I went to his office and read through the prepared text, but had to tell him that there was no way ...

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