2002 Winter Olympics: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on 2002 Winter Olympics

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

XIX Olympic Winter Games
2002 Winter Olympics logo.svg
The emblem represents a snow crystal,
with the Olympic rings and "SALT LAKE 2002" below.
The colors; yellow, orange and blue;
represent the Utah landscape.
Host city Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Motto Light The Fire Within
Nations participating 78
Athletes participating 2,399 (1,513 men, 886 women)
Events 78 in 7 sports
Opening ceremony February 8
Closing ceremony February 24
Officially opened by President
George W. Bush
Athlete's Oath Jim Shea
Judge's Oath Allen Church
Olympic Torch Members of the 1980 USA hockey team, led by team captain Mike Eruzione
Stadium Rice-Eccles Stadium
Delta's Boeing 777-200 in livery commemorating the Games

The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIX Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event that was celebrated in February 2002 in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The motto chosen was Light The Fire Within.

Salt Lake City became the most populous area ever to have hosted the Winter Olympics but was surpassed by Turin four years later, which itself was surpassed by Vancouver in the 2010 Winter Olympics.[1]. 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 City.


Host City Selection

Salt Lake City was chosen over Quebec City, Canada, Sion, Switzerland, and, Östersund, Sweden on June 16, 1995, at the 104th IOC Session in Budapest, Hungary.[2]

2002 Winter Olympics Bidding Result
City Nation Round 1
Salt Lake City, UT  United States 54
Östersund  Sweden 14
Sion  Switzerland 14
Quebec City, QC  Canada 7


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.

Participating nations

78 National Olympic Committees sent athletes to the Salt Lake City games.

Cameroon, Hong Kong (China), Nepal, Tajikistan, and Thailand participated in their 1st Winter Olympic games.

Participating nations


Medal table

Salt Lake City 2002 bronze medals
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Norway 13 5 7 25
2 Germany 12 16 8 36
3 United States (host nation) 10 13 11 34
4 Canada 7 3 7 17
5 Russia 5 4 4 13
6 France 4 5 2 11
7 Italy 4 4 5 13
8 Finland 4 2 1 7
9 Netherlands 3 5 0 8
10 Austria 3 4 10 17


Several medals records were set and/or tied. They included (bold-face indicates broken during the Vancouver Olympics):


Olympic flame at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremonies
Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch
  • The opening ceremonies included Grammy Award-winning artist LeAnn Rimes singing "Light the Fire Within," the official song of the 2002 Olympics.
  • The Grammy Award-winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed the "Star-Spangled Banner," National Anthem of the United States, for the opening ceremonies.
  • 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 and the Madeleine Choir School 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.
  • There were also signs of the aftermath of September 11, 2001, being the first Olympics since then. They included the flag that flew at Ground Zero, NYPD officer Daniel Rodriguez singing "God Bless America," and honor guards of NYPD and FDNY members.
  • 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.
  • The 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 Olympics marked the first time a United States president opened an Olympic Winter Games held in the United States, although previous Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon had opened the 1932 Winter Olympics and the 1960 Winter Olympics in their roles as Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States, respectively.
  • These were the first Games to be held under IOC president Jacques Rogge.
  • Competition highlights included biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen of Norway, winning gold in all four men's events (10 k, 12.5 k, 20 k, 4 x 7.5 relay), Nordic combined athlete Samppa Lajunen of Finland winning three gold medals, Simon Ammann of Switzerland taking the double in ski jumping, and alpine skier Janica Kostelić winning three golds and a silver (the first Winter Olympic medals ever for an athlete from Croatia).
  • 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 (A).
  • 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 gold won by a woman from the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Canadian men's ice hockey team defeated the American team 5-2 to claim the gold medal, ending 50 years without the hockey gold. The Canadian women's team also defeated the American team 3-2 after losing to them at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano.
  • 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 Creed, 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, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and, during the presentation of Turin, Irene Grandi and Elisa.
  • 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.
  • The games were formally closed by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge departing from former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch's tradition of declaring each games "best ever". Rogge's began a tradition of assigning each games their own identity in his comments calling the 2002 Salt Lake Games "flawless"[5]


  • Prior 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 Mitt Romney, who was named CEO of the Salt Lake Games in response to the scandal and a financial shortfall for the games, were forced to contend with public outcry.
  • In short track speed skating, Ohno initially 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 decision by the referee, Australian James Hewish, angered many Koreans. Over 16,000 threatening emails were sent to the Olympic website, flooding its servers; it took nearly nine hours to restore the site[citation needed].
  • Athletes in cross-country skiing were disqualified for various reasons including doping by two Russians and one Spaniard, 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 officials.

Security measures

These Olympic games were the first since September 11, 2001, which meant a higher level of security than ever before provided for the Games. The Office of Homeland Security (OHS) designated the Olympics a National Special Security Event (NSSE).

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:

Your nation is overcoming a horrific tragedy, a tragedy that has affected the whole world. We stand united with you in the promotion of our common ideals, and hope for world peace.

See also



External links

Preceded by
Winter Olympics
Salt Lake City

XIX Olympic Winter Games (2002)
Succeeded by

Simple English

The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIX Olympic Winter Games, were celebrated in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States from February 8, 2002, through February 24, 2002.

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Olympic Games
Summer Games: 1896, 1900, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1912, (1916), 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940), (1944), 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028
Winter Games: 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940), (1944), 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022
Athens 2004Turin 2006Beijing 2008Vancouver 2010London 2012Sochi 2014Rio 2016

Games in italics will be held in the future, and those in (brackets) were cancelled because of war. See also: Ancient Olympic Games

Youth Olympic Games
Summer Games:2010, 2014, 2018
Winter Games:2012, 2016
Singapore 2010Innsbruck 2012Nanjing 2014

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address