Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints... had high- praise for the Olympic Games, today ... calling them, "a great occasion." .
He discussed his -feelings about the Games with Religion Specialist Carole Mikita.
President Hinckley spoke very enthusiastically about how all Utahns welcomed the world and how visitors were treated here will go a long way into dissolving misperceptions about Latter- day Saints.
President Gordon B. Hinckley/"SOME CAME WITH SUSPICION... SOME CAME, I THINK, WITH PREJUDICE... I THINK THEY LEFT WITH APPRECIATION AND RESPECT..."
And, he says, church members looked for ways to be helpful whether with simple directions or a myriad of foreign languages but they did not look to convert...
"WE HELD BACK... AS WE SAID WE WOULD, ON PROSELETYZING... WE MADE NO ATTEMPT WHATEVER TO CREATE A PERCEPTION THAT THESE WERE THE MORMON GAMES, WE DID JUST THE OPPOSITE... AND I THINK WE SUCEEDED IN DOING THAT..."
Pres. Hinckley also hopes the coming together as a community will keep us united, accepting of one another's differences...
There were a number of high points for the president personally... he did get to hold the Olympic torch... Meet President and Mrs. Bush... and was quite impressed with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan... but the the best part was being a spectator...
"I ENJOYED THE OLYMPICS... SAW MANY OF THOSE SKIING EVENTS... IN FACT, I SPENT MORE TIME THAT I SHOULD HAVE... HAD OTHER THINGS TO DO..."
Carole asks/"I read in USA Today that you had a particularly positive reaction to the halfpipe snowboarding event..."
"I ENJOYED THAT... SEE THOSE PEOPLE GO DOWN AND UP AND AROUND AND SO ON AND I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS A LOT OF FUN... AND TOOK A LOT OF SKILL..."
When asked if he was sad to see the Games go... he replied, no... time to get ready for General Conference... Carole Mikita, Eyewitness News, Salt Lake City.