Adding On to Working with Mitt Romney after 9/11

Adding on to what it was like to work for Mitt Romney after 9/11

 

Few folks know that Mitt was actually in Washington DC, very close to the Pentagon when the plane crashed into that federal building.  He, as all other Americans that had travelled, was unable to get back to Utah for days as all airline travel was cancelled.  During this time, the press and the Olympic Committee staff talked and worried about the future of the Games, and the future of our country.  We, the staff at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, were concerned about the safety of our athletes, visitors, and family if we hosted the 2002 Olympic Games.  And, the increase in cost due to security and the fear that visitors would stay away.

When Mitt got back to Salt Lake, he quickly got our staff together.  I will never forget that moment as he addressed the future of the Games in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  He said the only way to honor the dead was to host the world’s largest peace time event.  As each of us looked at each other and at Mitt, we knew our jobs just grew…..we had to honor the dead and our country.

Fast forward to the Opening Ceremonies…..when the World Trade Center Flag came into the stadium, carried by US athletes, we expected wild applause.  Instead, complete silence.  Everyone in the stadium stood and all hats were removed, regardless of country of origin.  There was not a dry eye in the place.  I looked over at Mitt and Ann, they too had tears in their eyes.  I believe this symbol of unity, this event and this flag helped our country start the healing process.

This leadership and vision came from Mitt Romney.  He faced for the second time, the potential for cancelling the 2002 Olympic Games.  From a $1B in the red to $100M in the black and the vision for doing the right thing.  Motivating the staff and growing worldwide confidence in our ability to delivery great games!

Sharon Kingman

Managing Director of Telecommunications SLOC 1997-2002

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