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Olympic turnaround by Michael Payne

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9. To the brink and back

The city of saints

It all began quietly. On November 24, 1998 a Salt Lake City television station, KTVX-TV, reported that a scholarship had been provided to the daughter of an IOC member, Rene Essomba from Cameroon, to attend university in Washington. The news report was based on an unsigned letter, dated September 17, 1996, from David Johnson, one of the leaders of the Salt Lake bid team, to Sonia Essomba advising her that the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) was unable to continue its scholarship support.

The letter had been handed over by Stephanie Pate, the former secretary to SLOC President Tom Welch, who had been pressured by Olympic trustee, Ken Bullock to “find dirt” on Dave Johnson. All this was unhelpful ...

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