Wednesday, November 2, 2011

USOC: Confluence of coincidence

I dreamt a most vivid dream on the eve of September 11th, ...and by now, you should know that at least some of my dreams are kinda...well...special. I pause now to consider that dream in context with the article below....dream meets reality in a crazy, kooky, spooky confluence of coincidence.

Bill Hybl had a room with a view on September 11, 2001
Salt Lake to re-examine security in light of attack

By Paula Parrish, News Staff Writer

Rocky Mountain News

September 13, 2001 


"We heard a loud boom, and the whole building shook like there was an earthquake."
Ed Gould, the volunteer New York state director for USA Wrestling, the national federation for the Olympic sport, was working in his office Tuesday on the 72nd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It was the first building hit in the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
"We didn't know what it was," Gould said Wednesday. "We just saw debris go by the window. I picked up my suit jacket, and within 15 seconds, we were going down the stairs."
Gould, an engineering project manager for the New York Port Authority, said the plane crashed into his side of the building, possibly about eight floors above his office. It took about 30 minutes to reach the street, with people hurrying down the stairs three abreast. Another explosion -- the second plane slamming into the South Tower -- was felt as he climbed down.

"It was calm, no real panic," he said. "We let people above us get through first, the people who were injured, burned, the skin on their arms was peeled back."

Once on the street, Gould walked to his son's office on Wall Street and watched both towers collapse.

"Physically, I'm OK," he said by phone from his home in New Jersey. "Mentally, I'm not."
Gould was one of the few members of the Olympic family who were involved, either directly or peripherally, in the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

In the aftermath:
  • Olympic and government officials vowed the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics (Feb. 8-24) will take place.  Security measures for the Salt Lake Olympics will be re-examined.
  • International condolences poured into the offices of the national federations of Olympic sports in this country.
  • Members of the Olympic family, like other Americans, frantically tried to track down athletes, coaches, officials, family and friends.
Other Olympic individuals involved and/or touched by the attacks included:
  • Bill Hybl, former president of the U.S. Olympic Committee and current member of the International Olympic Committee, watched events unfold from his New York hotel room. Hybl, a resident of Colorado Springs, is in New York on assignment as a U.S. representative to the United Nations.
  • Mitt Romney, president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, was waving smoke out of his face as his car sped past the Pentagon.
By coincidence, Romney was in Washington to secure the final $12.7 million of the $200 million budgeted for security at the Salt Lake Olympics. In light of the terrorist attacks, Romney said the security plan for the Games will be "re-examined," including air safety.

The Utah Olympic Public Safety Command is coordinating security for the Games with several federal agencies, primarily the Secret Service, FBI and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

During the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, about $100 million was spent on security and 14,400 federal troops were on hand. For Salt Lake, only 1,400 federal troops are included in the security plan (Winter Olympics are about a fifth as large as Summer Olympics). Romney said the number of troops might be increased, as well as the budget, depending on the review.

"There's never even been a single suggestion other than to proceed with the Games," Romney said. "The message of the Olympics is even more important today than it was (before). We will make the necessary efforts to make sure the Games are safe and the Games are preserved."

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