BYU students protest Olympic beer sponsorship

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    By KATHRYN PETERSON

    BYU students will present a petition today protesting the Anheuser-Busch sponsorship for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    A handful of BYU students will present the petition to the Salt Lake Organizing Committee today at 4 p.m. in front of the SLOC headquarters.

    Although the SLOC has already decided to keep the sponsorship from Anheuser-Busch, the company that produces Budweiser beer, students hope the petition will create an awareness and interest in the issue.

    Nicole M. Christensen, a sophomore from New Jersey, majoring in International Law and Diplomacy, spear-headed the independent petition. Over 2,400 signatures were collected in two weeks, Christensen said.

    “This sponsorship undermines and degrades the very spirit of the Olympic games,” Christensen said.

    The main goal of the petition is to raise awareness around the state and campus about whether or not the beer sponsorship is appropriate, Christensen said.

    “We want people to know this has come to a good conclusion and that we have delivered the petition,” Christensen said.

    Students, faculty and families in the community were all involved in signing the petition.

    “We had a very representative pool of signers,” Christensen said.

    Christina Gale, a sophomore from Maryland, majoring in history, signed the petition.

    “I hope this petition will spark interest around the state so that the next time we face this debate the SLOC will decide to do it differently,” Gale said.

    Anheuser-Busch is limited by law as to where it can advertise and can have no presence at all in the venues or the medal plaza, said Shelley Thomas, senior vice president of communications for the SLOC.

    The sponsorship will also cover the U.S. Olympic teams in the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece, and squads for the 2002 Paralympics, and the 1999 and 2003 Pan-American Games.

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