President, Alumni Association Board of Directors

For a few magical weeks in 2002, the eyes of the world will be focused on Utah, Salt Lake City, and the University of Utah. One of the few true worldwide events, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games will open our campus to more than 2,000 athletes, 9,000 members of the international media, tens of thousands of spectators from around the globe, and more than three billion television viewers. This is an unprecedented time in the U's long history, one I hope alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends will fully embrace.

The physical impact of the Games on the University campus will be unmistakable. Rooms that usually house students will become the temporary home for NHL players, figure skaters, and even the new IOC President, Jacques Rogge from Belgium, as thousands of athletes and officials turn our residence halls into the Athletes Village. Rice-Eccles Stadium, which only last month held cheering fans and football players, will soon hold Swiss bobsledders, Austrian skiers, Russian skaters, and Canadian curlers during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The Alumni House will transform itself into "Germany House" as the German National Olympic Committee leases the building to serve as its center of activities for the Games. And the Olympic Cauldron, unveiled and lit during the Opening Ceremonies, will rise from the southwest corner of the stadium, serving as a landmark for the entire city during the Games.

Such places and symbols of unity have become even more important in light of the recent terrorist attacks and subsequent international events. The Olympic movement has always stood for the promotion of world peace, and the continuation of the Games is a powerful statement to the world that this principle remains intact. International visitors will come, countries will participate and the world will not be held captive by fear.

During these times, we look to universities to be places of open discussion, diligent thinking, and measured consideration. Since the first counseling and communication services were offered to students on Sept. 11, 2001, the University community in individual and collective ways has continued to ponder how to come to terms with events that have shaken our very ability to come to terms. What has become clear is our need for community, to draw from one another a sense of unity and hope. It is my hope that the Games will be one such unifying event for the University and, indeed, for the world.

This special issue of Continuum offers a peek at the many ways the University is involved with the Games. As we welcome the athletes onto the grounds of Fort Douglas, we will look back at the fort's history and some of its previous residents. Former Ute athletes who have participated in past Summer and Winter Games will share some of their experiences (including one alumnus athlete's perspective on the Games in "And Finally..."). And we'll get a glimpse of some of the rich stories housed in the ski archives at the Marriott Library the official repository of Games documents.

In addition, the magazine will showcase University events that are part of the Cultural Olympiad, a celebration of the arts connected to the Games, as well as alumni who have participated in past Olympic Games in various roles. Many departments throughout the U are involved with the Games in unique ways, and a few are profiled here. We also answer some frequently asked logistical questions regarding parking, transportation, and the academic schedule, among others, in a special version of Gazette.

Those students now taking classes in the midst of a campus filling with international visitors and media have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance their learning by experiencing, up close, the global community of which they are a part. As alumni, we can be ambassadors to that international community, welcoming the world to our world, the University of Utah. I invite you to share in that experience, one that will forever change the place of the University in the global community.