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Stenmark won two Olympic golds but none for Switzerland Keystone Archive

While Switzerland's athletes look to make a name for themselves in Salt Lake City, it seems the country itself is in need of some Olympic introductions.

This content was published on February 10, 2002 - 11:07

The Swiss Olympic association was bemused during the Games opening weekend when two American journalists turned up at the association's media desk asking what "the former Swiss skier Ingemar Stenmark" was up to nowadays.

While Swiss Olympic would probably have been happy to share some of the glory from Stenmark's 86 World Cup wins, three World Cup overall titles and two Olympic gold medals, they politely pointed out that the legendary Stenmark was and remains extremely Swedish.

The Swedes were later reported to have got their hands on a truly Swiss figure, when another American was overheard showing his daughter around Salt Lake City's "House of Switzerland". Pointing to a poster of a cow grazing in the Alps, the father is supposed to have said, "look there, honey - a real, Swedish cow."

Confusions between Switzerland and Sweden may be common, but two journalists from a Swiss magazine had a more unusual problem when security staff refused to allow them into the Olympic village for a visit that was meant to have been pre-arranged.

The officials were unable to find the two journalists' names on their list of accredited visitors, until it was pointed out that they were actually looking at the list for visitors from Swaziland.

Fortunately for Swiss athletes keen to avoid any such mix-ups on the Olympic podiums, Swaziland is not one of the 77 nations actually competing at this year's Games.

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