Bradyites witness controversial Olympic figure skating event

It was almost more fun than they could stand. Back to work Wednesday morning at Lubke’s GM Cars and Trucks, Ray and Sue Lubke were dead tired following their six-day trip to Salt Lake’s Winter Olympic Games. “We had a fabulous time,” Sue said Wednesday afternoon. “It was an experience that we’ll never have again. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have the opportunity from Chevrolet, one of the Olympics’ major sponsors, to go to the opening events.” The Opening Ceremonies was probably the most impressive event with the beauty and pageantry plus the fact that some of the world’s greatest people were present, topped by President George W. Bush. “The Opening Ceremonies were held in Salt Lake City, and the weather was great. The scenery was gorgeous with lots of snow. The atmosphere was simply magic,” Sue said. “After a blizzard earlier that day, it was beautiful that night, but it also was 15′.” The security was enormous with F-16 fighter jets flying CAP circling overhead and helicopters scanning the ground. “We just had outstanding seats, something that we learned was the opportunity brought on by the many corporate sponsors. We couldn’t have been more than 50 yards away from the President and all the dignitaries,” Mrs. Lubke said. “We had wonderful seats at every event.” Those famous persons included U.S.Sen. and astronaut John Glenn, South Africa’s Desmond Tutu, Poland’s Lech Walesa, film director Steven Spielberg and other national and international celebrities. The Bradyites departed last Thursday morning from San Angelo en route to Salt Lake City thence to their hotel at Deer Village. Mrs. Lubke said she and Ray were treated like royalty by everyone involved. “We attended seven events in our four days at the Olympics, and after each event there were numerous volunteers at the exits thanking us for coming,” she said. “They were so friendly and helpful. We were impressed.” They were kept hopping almost the entire time they were in Utah. Ray said upon his return to Brady that he was sick of buses, lengthy lines and security. “We are very happy to be back in Brady,” Sue said. She indicated that due to the September 11 tragedy times had changed forever. “When we went to Salt Lake for the Opening Ceremonies, we had to stand in line for two hours for security purposes. And we had to stand in line everywhere we went,” she said. The Lubkes were the first group of Chevrolet dealers to attend the activities, “and they may iron out some of the procedures,” Sue said. Since Chevy provided all of their winter clothing, they did not have to worry about warmth. “We even had to wear two pairs of long underwear. The stadium seats were aluminum,” she said. One item that shocked the Lubkes was the price of the tickets, although they didn’t have to spend a dime except for their own personal purchases. “The price of a single ticket to the Opening Ceremonies was $885, and it cost $275 per person to attend the pairs skating event Monday night,” she observed. “Of course, most of the tickets were purchased by the corporate sponsors.” The sponsors and their friends all wore clothing displaying their company. Some of them included Chevrolet, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Hallmark Cards, Monster.Com, NBC and Sports Illustrated. Some of the Olympic events the Lubkes attended were the women’s moguls, the men’s downhill, hockey games, snowboarding and the pairs skating. The Bradyites were in attendance at the event that has caused the most controversy’the pairs skating in which a Russian couple won an unpopular first place over the crowd-favored Canadian pair. “Everyone around us felt that the Canadian duo won. They were flawless and really seemed to be enjoying themselves while the Russian pair had a few technical problems. The Canadians simply had the crowd in their hands,” Sue said. The fallout of that particular incident has developed into international headlines alleging vote trading by judges. On Friday morning before the start of the Olympics, the Lubkes went snowmobiling. One day they went into Salt Lake City to the Kimball Art Museum, which had been taken over by Chevrolet, where some of the Olympians and past Olympic champions were present to sign autographs. That’s where they met and had their photograph made with past figure skating champion Peggy Flemming. The Olympics in Utah were spread out over much of the central part of the state. One day the Lubkes attended a hockey game at Provo, which was about two hours by bus from their hotel, then rode a bus for more than two and a half hours through Salt Lake City to Ogden for the men’s downhill skiing. “After that we were scheduled to head back to Provo for another event that evening, and we were just too tired to go any farther,” she said. One thing the Lubkes didn’t really get into was the pin trading. “One Chevy dealer and his wife from Juneau, Alaska, really got into that. They had over 450 pins. We came away with only a few,” Sue said. A couple of items that they did get were three toboggans and two baseball caps with “Roots” logos. Roots is the Canadian company that manufactured all the Olympic uniforms and accessories. “They are making a mint,” Sue said. “I wanted to buy one of the hottest items, an Olympic beret, but they were sold out.” Sue and Ray got back home Tuesday evening and could hardly wait to get to bed. “We didn’t get to bed Monday night until about midnight. We had to have our luggage out by 3 a.m. and we left for the airport at 5:30 a.m. so we just about didn’t get any sleep that night. We travelled all day Tuesday and arrived back in San Angelo about 5 p.m. then had to drive home,” she said. Dead tired or not, they had a marvelous time. One they will never forget, thanks to their Chevrolet customers.

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