It is a grossly exaggerated extremist point of view that should
not have been published at all. Here is the article:
(the original URL was
Colorado real winner of Games
By Woody Paige
Denver Post Sports Columnist
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - SALT LAKE CITY - Relax, Colorado. Utah
won't be stealing skiers, snowboarders, snow bunnies, slush studs,
sightseers and substantial-spending silver-spooners.
By the time the Winter Olympics are over nobody will want to come back
or come ever to this state of gelatinous Deseret and gelatin dessert.
Especially Europeans, Asians, Australians and other foreigners, such
as those from Texas.
Utah is doing more to promote the ski industry in Colorado than Aspen,
Vail, Winter Park and Steamboat Springs combined could.
Colorado's new slogan to attract tourists should be: "Visit beautiful
Colorado. We won't force you to take a religious brochure at every
street corner, make you eat lime Jell-O at every meal, coerce you into
joining a private club to enjoy a drink or buying a bottle from a
state-owned liquor store, ask you to worship a salamander and a
seagull, marry three of your mother's cousins, consider you inferior
if you're not white, a man or heterosexual, order you to ride to a ski
area in a school bus, compel you to dine at A&W and sleep at Motel
21/2 and Sub-par 8 and Worst Inn & Suites, require you to square dance
and wear weird underwear under your parkas and ski pants."
Or: "Colorado Welcomes The Skiing World. We have more than beginners'
slopes and one resort."
Or: "Colorado: There's Caffeine In Our Coffee And Cachet In Our
Or: "Colorado: Champagne Powder while you Ski and Champagne apres
Hey, Utah started the snow-slinging and the anti-Colorado advertising
campaigns and the "We got the Olympics, and you didn't,
Be careful what you wish for, Salt Lake City.
Now, everyone in the world knows.
No wonder the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had to bribe
International Olympic Committee members in order to host the Winter
Games. You wouldn't visit or vacation - or pause - here unless you had
to. Maybe Utah's slogan should be: "If you promise to ski Utah, we'll
give your kid a job or pay for his college education or slip you a
Salt Lake City has royally screwed up the Olympics.
You've already heard the spin-doctoring and excuse-twisting. They're
trying to paint a happy face on a donkey's derriere.
"Oh, we've had a few glitches and one or two problems, but these are
the greatest Games ever" is the constant refrain from the SLOC slugs.
And the local affiliate of NBC declared two nights ago on the news:
"Everybody has told us they love the Olympics in Utah." What would
they expect people with a microphone thrust in their mouths to say -
Here's what some really are saying:
"It's a dog's breakfast," said an Australian. I don't think that's a
"Atlanta with snow," a German journalist told me. That's a real low
blow. Atlanta put on the worst Olympics since Hitler in 1936, but, at
least, the Germans made the buses and trains run on time.
Ask several hundred Austrians - none of the local media did - their
opinion after they put out thousands of dollars to travel to Utah to
watch their men's downhillers dominate. What should have been a
45-minute ride to Snowbasin turned into the three-hour trip from (and
to) hell, and they missed the Austrian skiers who won the gold and
bronze medals. Things were so bad the head of the SLOC had to help
direct traffic. "I can't wait to get away from here," an Austrian told
me. "And the beer, when you can get one, tastes like warm (use your
America never should be awarded another Olympics. We can't get this
traffic and transportation thing right - ever.
All the volunteers and workers are very friendly, but they have been
trained to say "Uh, I don't know" and speak in tongues.
"When's the next bus coming?"
"Uh, I don't know. Would you like Jell-O while you're waiting?"
"Where's the speed skating?"
"Uh, I don't know, but you have a wonderful afternoon."
"Why doesn't the TV and the phone in my room work, and how can you
call a bowl of cereal and a loaf of bread a breakfast buffet, and is
there a reason I have no shower curtain or alarm clock or lamp or bar
of soap or clean sheets in my room that costs $190 a night?"
"Uh, I don't know. We're trying to get someone out to fix it."
They only had seven years to figure out the Olympics.
At Olympic Sports Park outside Salt Lake City, spectators who paid
outrageous prices for tickets are dumped in a parking lot and have to
get up the hill to the venues by whatever means they can. One SLOC
sloth admitted there aren't enough shuttles, so a PR type turned a
serious, subfreezing climb up a 10-degree incline into the cutesy
"Gold Mile." "People are enjoying it. At the top they receive a pin."
Or a heart attack.
But those people were fortunate. Europeans who purchased tickets to
the opening and closing ceremonies and several events in the mountains
arrived to discover all the bus passes had been sold. They had no way
of reaching the venues. (Salt Lake has 400 taxis for hundreds of
thousands of visitors.)
And the Church of the Latter-day Whatevers? It claimed there would be
no overt involvement or interference in the Winter Games. Instead,
this is a massive Mormon marketing scheme. There is no separation of
church and Olympics. Young women, who act like they're straight out of
the "Stepford Wives," stand 10 feet apart downtown and at venues and
thrust Mormon literature at passersby. Tables offering Mormon
information and men offering Mormon salvation are all over the city.
The Mormon presence dominates. One of the last stops for the Olympic
torch was at Mormon headquarters so the church president could hold it
and make a speech. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was on prominent
display throughout the opening ceremony. The Mormon-owned daily
newspaper features a special section interspersing LDS propaganda with
The theme of the Salt Lake Games is: "Light the flame within." It
should be: "Last one to escape Salt Lake extinguish the flame and turn
out the lights."
Colorado will be the winner of the Winter Olympics.
There is currently a link on the Denver Post's web page at the top
of the SPORTS section (http://www.denverpost.com then click on SPORTS
section), which reads "Want to complain about Woody Paige? click here
to e-mail the Sports Department" which brings up your email program
ready to send an email to the following address:
Please read the full article before you decide to email the Denver
post. Again, the email to send complaints to is
Here is the link:
Here is the text:
Upon reflection, Utah, all apologies offered
By Woody Paige
Denver Post Sports Columnist
Thursday, February 14, 2002 - SALT LAKE CITY - Happy Valentine's Day,
Utahans. I love you.
I'm sorry I hurt you.
A column I wrote that appeared Tuesday in The Denver Post has enraged
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and
officials of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Winter Olympics
volunteers, the decent people of Utah, Colorado and, presumably, other
states and countries and my superiors and fellow workers.
I was wrong to write what I did. I am totally responsible and
regretful for it.
"Obviously, it has a satirical emphasis," said Mike Otterson, director
of media relations for the Mormon Church headquarters here.
Obviously, it was satire that didn't work.
"It was a pretty mean-spirited piece," Otterson said Wednesday. He
also said the column was "a hatchet job hostile designed to ridicule
clearly intended to be an attack on Utah and Mormons so vicious
invective ridiculous and downright wrong."
Thousands of others who e-mailed and called me and others at The Post
weren't as kind in their evaluation.
When I contacted Otterson, I requested a conversation with church
president Gordon Hinckley, but he, Otterson said, "respectfully, is
too busy to handle this." So Otterson said he would serve as the
I told him I am not anti-Mormon, anti-Utah, anti-Salt Lake City or
anti-Winter Olympics. My weak attempt at humor failed. For those few
who missed it, the basic premise of the column was that Colorado would
be the real winner of the Games because "Salt Lake City has royally
screwed up the Winter Olympics." But the main complaints were about
references to Utahans and, specifically, Mormons, who make up 70-75
percent of this state's population.
"The overwhelming reaction from the world media, the athletes and the
visitors has been extremely positive and that the Games are going off
admirably well," said Otterson.
He wanted to concentrate on "issues of fact" regarding the church and
"The line about worshipping salamanders and sea gulls obviously is
one's expression of opinion. I don't know how to respond to that type
of satire, but it's simply not true." He said African-Americans and
women are not considered inferior by the church. "More than half the
members of our church are now outside the United States in Latin
America, Africa and the Philippines, for instance, and (the numbers
are) growing faster. Only 14 percent of our members live in Salt Lake
"The stereotypical image of Mormons is changing."
The church took exception to my line that the Winter Olympics is a
"massive Mormon marketing scheme."
According to Otterson, the church "has resources that Salt Lake City
needed, and we have provided them willingly. If the church had
boycotted the Games, the city could not have hosted the event. But
president Hinckley has made it clear from the beginning that there
would be no proselytizing (attempts to convert one to another's
religious faith) during the Olympics. We are not handing out
literature or selling books. We don't sell the Book of Mormon. To the
contrary, the literature being passed out is anti-Mormon. The Mormon
Temple is a highly visible presence in downtown, but no more than the
Vatican in Rome. We are sensitive to the purpose of the Olympics."
He said the church has remained in the background throughout the
Games. "Your inferences that the church is using the Games as a
marketing scheme is downright wrong. Judging by the reaction, we've
done it right and would do it exactly the same way if we started
He reiterated that the Mormon Church had "outlawed polygamy more than
100 years ago, and I've never met a polygamist."
There also was the mention of "weird underwear," which both Otterson
and I agree was totally uncalled for.
As for transportation, traffic, ticketing, access to the venues and
other problems brought up in the column, Otterson said a Salt Lake
Organizing Committee official would have to comment. However late
Wednesday afternoon, SLOC said it would have no statement.
Aside from some transportation and traffic snafus and inconveniences
for athletes and spectators, the Winter Games in Salt Lake City and
surrounding Utah have been very successful - and certainly safe and
Sincerely, I've enjoyed my stay as a bystander. Utah can be proud of
its Olympian effort so far.
I've been here and at other locales in Utah 50 times or more and
genuinely like the people. As has been noted this week, Salt Lake has
become "the capital of niceness." I don't understand the infatuation
with Jell-O or fry sauce, but I appreciate "friendly." Maybe we should
all eat more Jell-0 and fry sauce.
I have studied the history of the state and the church. I have read
the Book of Mormon, and I have toured the Temple grounds.
Honestly, I am not against Utahans and Mormons, just as I am not,
despite what they believe, against Nebraskans and Cornhuskers.
Sometimes I want to be funny, and I offend people.
The column was not intended to be a vicious, hostile attack, but, upon
reflection and rereading what I wrote, it went over the line of
This country was founded on principles of freedom of religion and
speech, and both are to be respected. I did not.
I am not writing this column under duress or threat. It's my choice
I apologize to Mormons, to Utahans, to a dedicated employee of The
Post who is "embarrassed," to everyone at the newspaper who has
endured the wrath I caused, to my mother and sister for when I've
poked fun at Southern Baptists and to anyone else I angered or
Be My Valentine.
- If you want to comment on this column, send e-mail to
I thought Paige's column castigating the Mormons, Utah and that most
idiotic of non-events--the Olympics--was superb. Instead of the same
old bland stuff that poses for commentary from big dailies like the
Post, Paige wrote a ripsnorter worthy of reading.
Shame on the Post for pulling the column.
Although its appearance on Google proves once again that on the
internet information wants to be free and that self-appointed media
guardians have little power.
Still the Post like all newspapers should never be in the business of
suppressing ideas. It's antithetical to everything they stand for.
>I am not writing this column under duress or threat. It's my choice
Hehe. I'll bet there is no threat or duress.
>I apologize to Mormons, to Utahans, to a dedicated employee of The
>Post who is "embarrassed," to everyone at the newspaper who has
>endured the wrath I caused, to my mother and sister for when I've
>poked fun at Southern Baptists and to anyone else I angered or
an' g'bless mommy and daddy and even little sister.....
I think he is getting his satire back here.
Anywho, i thought the word was the unusual 'Utahns', not 'Utahans'.
>Be My Valentine
>- If you want to comment on this column, send e-mail to
Just sent if off saying that the 'Atlanta with snow' was a good line.
"A free people ought to be make jokes. When humor goes, all goes."
.. George Washington, Jan 7, 1790 ( Boston Independent Chronicle )
(Okay it didn't go exactly like that, but you get the idea...)
Kansas City, KS
Is the Rocky Mountain Journal still around?
This reply is probably unnecessary, but I can't resist....
So Salt Lake City is a hell hole and is making a mess of the Olympics. And
you know this even though you haven't ever been to Salt Lake City. And you
know this despite the near consensus that SLC has far exceeded expectations
for its ability to host the Games. There has been nothing but praise from
the nation's press regarding the Olympics. A poll of non-Utahn visitors
showed a greater than 95% approval of the way the games are being hosted.
Paige wrote an excellent apology. He knew he needed to apologize when he
discovered that people thrusting literature in his face were actually
anti-Mormon protesters and that Mormon missionaries were indeed keeping
their promise not to proselytize during the Games.
Again, I felt like your response revealed what an idiot you are without my
commentary, but I couldn't resist.
_What_ point, Mr. Angle?
> I don't think he is trying to be degrading or racist or any other bad
> words you could think of, he is just trying to give the people of his
> city a true understanding of what kind of hell hole Salt Lake has made
> the Olympics to be.
Not "degrading or racist"? Really? So, just what would be "degrading
or racist", in your humble opinion, Mr. Angle? Sheesh...what a
> I don't think his article should have been
> retracted from the Denver Post website or that he should have had to
> publish an apology to the people of Utah and the Mormons.
I agree. Let the record the ignornance stand ;)
> I strongly
> support Woody Paige's article even though I haven't ever been to the
> Salt Lake City or this years Olympics.
Why? "Strongly support" of bigoted diatribe evokes images of clansmen
in sheets surrounding a hangin' tree...
Have a nice life.
Also tons of green Jell-O after he made fun of it!
: the truth and Woody is the teller. I read "Snow Job" in Sports