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Features Sunday, 10 February, 2002, 02:33 GMT
The scale of Salt Lake's Games
Volunteers await instructions
There are 20,000 volunteers at the Games
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Gubbay in Salt Lake City

The summer Olympics are said to be three times bigger than the winter equivalent.

But I just cannot believe that as I walk around the streets and venues at these Games in Salt Lake City.

For me, the sheer scale of any Olympics-related operation here is absolutely overwhelming.

In the build-up, figures and soundbites about security dominated the headlines, not least US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's claim that there are more troops in Salt Lake City than there are in Afghanistan.

But now the Games are under way, take a look at some other interesting facts and figures which illustrate just how much goes into making the 17-day spectacle actually happen.

Staging the Olympics in Salt Lake City:

  • The core budget for the 2002 Winter Olympics is US$1.27bn.

  • 230,000 meals will be served up during Olympic competition, including some of the following ingredients:

    36,000 gallons of soup.
    15,000 pounds of dry pasta.
    400,000 pounds of certified Angus beef - that's 13 tractor trailers' worth.
    1,500 pounds of Kimchi (which I am reliably informed is pickled cabbage).

  • There are 20,000 volunteers employed (some 67,500 applied) and it is expected there will be 112,000 spectators at events each day.

  • The Olympic Village is home to 3,500 athletes and officials.

  • The Olympic rings on Twin Peaks are 160 feet in diameter, made up of 1,850 individual points of light, and visible from 20 miles away.

  • Over 32,000 miles of fibre optic cable was laid down to facilitate coverage of the action.

  • Despite a seasonal average of only 37 degrees Fahrenheit in Salt Lake City, the Main Media and International Broadcast Center is so full of electronic equipment that air will be continuously pumped in from outside to maintain a reasonable temperature.

    And here's one final figure to wow you with:

    Depending on how excited or nervous athletes and officials get during the next two weeks or so, it is estimated 5,778,000 feet of toilet tissue will be used - which if rolled out would run the length of Utah three times over!

    BBC Sport Online's Alex Gubbay

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