I have never met anyone who could look at nearly $400 million dollars of debt and say, “I know how to fix that!” Well that is what Mitt did from the very beginning at the Olympics. When he came to Salt Lake, the offices were quiet and fearful, what a scandal, what a mess and absolutely no way out. Mitt brought his courage of conviction of being able to do the impossible and restore fiscal responsibility to the organization and a sense of pride to a group of people whose former leadership had run astray. By his side was Ann, a woman who is admired by all of us who had the good fortune to get to know her. We witnessed firsthand the love of two people who genuinely have service to humanity in their hearts.
Methodically, practically and thoughtfully Mitt charted the successful course, getting input from all and no matter how tough the day, he would also have a confident smile on his face, encouraging words and a joke or two that raised everyone’s spirits. He worked tirelessly day in and out over years to rectify the financial debacle that was the Salt Lake Olympics. There were many late nights and after a hard day’s work, he would often invite the team to grab a late dinner…yes… hamburgers, fries and a Coke…(sometimes we would splurge on a milk shake) at Hires restaurant. The local drive in…
What everyone seems to forget about is Mitt’s heart, he was the one who always insisted and worked to ensure that the games captured the heart of the nation and the world. He wanted people to leave their Olympic experience inspired…so when the world was moved by the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Games, it was under Mitt’s leadership that the world came together for the first time after 9/11. No one can deny that moment in time belongs to Mitt and the athletes of the world who inspired us so we could once again feel the triumph of the human spirit.
At the end of the games, the team he nurtured was able to leave a $100 million legacy for Utah, the community had restored its pride and everyone knew we had achieved the impossible. When Mitt says he can fix our broken economy, I know he is true to his word.
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