Olympics, officially known as the XIX Olympic
Winter Games were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in
February 2002 in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.
The motto chosen was Light The Fire
City became the most populous area ever to have hosted a to host
the Winter Olympics four years later, and will be surpassed again
when Vancouver hosts the 2010 Winter Olympics..
It was also
the most ecologically varied area to hold the Winter Olympics; a
large hot and arid desert lies just to the west of Salt Lake
candidate cities were: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Sion, Valais, Switzerland; and Östersund, Sweden.
City was selected as host city on June 16,
1995, at the 104th IOC
Session in Budapest, Hungary.
venues were scattered around Salt Lake City, as well as in the
mountains at Park
City, Ogden, and
were housed in the Olympic Village at the University of
The information below comes from the
International Olympic Committee Vote History
- The opening ceremonies included Grammy
Award-winning artist LeAnn Rimes
singing "Light the Fire Within," the official song of the 2002
- John Williams composed a
five-minute work for orchestra and chorus, Call of the Champions,
that served as the official theme of the 2002 Winter Olympics, his
first for a Winter Olympiad. It was performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra and featured
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
singing the official motto of the Olympic Games "Citius, Altius,
Fortius" (Faster, Higher, Stronger). The premiere of the work at
the opening ceremonies also corresponded with John Williams's 70th
birthday. The work is featured on the CD American Journey,
and also on the Choir's recording Spirit of America.
- Along with the flag that flew at the World Trade Center site,
the Challenger flag was also carried
into the stadium.
- The opening segment of the opening ceremony celebrated all
previous hosts of the Olympic Winter Games.
Olympic Flame was lit by the members of the Gold Medal-winning US
Hockey Team of the 1980 Winter
Olympics in Lake
Placid, NY, which was
the previous time the Winter Olympics were in the US. (See
picture at right)
- These were the first Games to be held under IOC president
- Skeleton returned as a medal
sport in the 2002 Games for the first time since 1948.
- Ireland reached its best ever position and came close to
winning its first winter medal when Clifton Wrottesley (Clifton Hugh Lancelot
de Verdon Wrottesley, 6th Baron Wrottesley) finished fourth in the
men's skeleton event.
- The Women's Bobsled Event had its debut at the 2002 Games after
several years of World Cup competition.
- A feature of these Games was the emergence of the extreme
sports, such as snowboarding, moguls and aerials, which appeared in
previous Olympic Winter Games but have captured greater public
attention in recent years.
- American Sarah Hughes won the gold
medal in figure skating. American and heavy favorite Michelle Kwan fell during her long program and
received the bronze medal.
- China won its first and second Winter Olympic gold
medals, both by women's short-track speed skater Yang Yang .
- One of the most memorable stories of the event occurred at the
men's short track. Australian skater Steven Bradbury, a competitor who had won a
bronze in 1994 as part of a
relay team but well off the pace of the medal favourites, cruised
off the pace in his semifinal only to see three of his competitors
crash into each other, allowing him to finish second and go through
to the final. Bradbury was again well off the pace, but
lightning struck again and all four other competitors crashed out
in the final turn, leaving a jubilant Bradbury to take the most
unlikely of gold medals, the first for Australia—or any other
country of the Southern Hemisphere—in the Olympic Winter Games.
- Australia winning their second gold medal, courtesy of Alisa Camplin in Women's Aerials, the first
ever Winter Games medal won by an Australian woman and the first
Winter Games gold by a woman from the Southern Hemisphere.
- The closing ceremonies marked the final live performance of
KISS with its lineup of Stanley/Simmons/Frehley/Singer. They
performed "Rock and Roll All
Nite." Other artists performing at the
2002 ceremonies were Yo Yo Ma, R. Kelly, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Dianne
Reeves, Harry Connick Jr.,
Dorothy Hamill, Dave Matthews Band, 'N
Sync, Earth, Wind &
Fire, The Dixie Chicks,
Josh Groban, Charlotte Church and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Detail of the 2002 Winter Games
- There was a Canadian dollar underneath the ice in support of
the Canadian men's team, supposedly placed there at the request of
Wayne Gretzky, who knew the man
responsible for ice upkeep.
- Team Belarus's Vladimir Kopat
scored a game winning goal from
center ice against Team Sweden in quarter finals, getting Belarus
to their best place in international hockey so far.
to these Olympic Winter Games, a number of IOC members were
forced to resign after it was uncovered that they had accepted
bribes in return for voting for Salt Lake City to hold the
Games. IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge
and new CEO of the Salt Lake Games Mitt
Romney then staged the Games and contended with the public
opinion backlash due to the scandal.
- Athletes in Short track
speed skating Ohno actually finished second in the race to Kim
Dong-Sung of South Korea, but was awarded gold after Kim was
disqualified for cross-skating across him on the final lap. This
controversial decision by the referee lead to the anger of many
Koreans, and the sending of overly 16,000 threatening emails that
overflooded the servers of the Olympics website. It took nearly
nine hours to restore the site. Korea considered boycott.
- Athletes in cross-country
skiing were disqualified for various reasons including doping by two Russians and one Spaniard in
cross-country skiing, leading Russia to file protests and threaten
to withdraw from competition.
- Unproven allegations of bribery were leveled against many ice
skating judges, leading to the arrest (at the request of the United
States) and release of known criminal Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov by Italian
- While there was a lot of international sympathy for
the US in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, there were complaints
that the Games were being conducted in a too patriotic or jingoistic
way. In particular, President Bush was criticized for breaches of
protocol, most of all for departing from the Olympic charter by
extending the declaration to open the Games when he said, “On
behalf of a proud, determined and grateful nation”, before adding
the traditional formula, “I declare open the Games of Salt Lake
City”. In addition, the President opened the games standing among
the US athletes while previous heads of state opened the games from
an official box. NBC's Bob
Costas applauded the move during the network's coverage of the
These Olympic games were the first since September 11, 2001
, which meant a
higher level of security than ever before provided for the Games.
Homeland Security (OHS) designated the Olympics a National Special Security
Aerial surveillance and radar control was provided by the marines
of Marine Air Control Squadron 2 det C, from Cherry Point NC.
When he spoke during the opening ceremonies, Jacques Rogge
, presiding over his first
olympics as IOC president, told the athletes of the United States,
the host country:
Salt Lake City 2002 bronze
NOTE: Because of the no-commercialization policy of the
Olympics, the Delta Center was labeled as the "Salt Lake Ice
Center," causing some confusion for visitors.
78 National Olympic Committees sent athletes to the Salt Lake City
Cameroon, Hong Kong (China), Nepal, Tajikistan, and Thailand
participated in their 1st Winter Olympic games.
- Salt Lake population figures by the
United States Census
- Opening Ceremony - Salt Lake City 2002
- Salt Lake City 2002 Opening Ceremony Beginning