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Ten Year Anniversary of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games

Thursday February 2, 2012

"The International Olympic Committee has decided we will award the delegation of the 19th Olympic Winter Games in two thousand and two, to the city of Salt Lake City!" - The date was June 16th, 1995. Local Utahns gathered to hear the decision from the International Olympic Committee as to where the 2002 Winter Olympic Games would be held. From the moment those words were spoken, cheers could be heard on every street corner, in every gathered crowd, and in homes across the state. With the official announcement came years of preparation and excitement, getting ready for the world to see how spectacular Salt Lake City really is. "Light The Fire Within" was the theme chosen for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="168" caption="Me, my cousin, and my nephew pictured with Pat, one of those chosen to carry the flame in Kearns, Utah, in February 2002."]Photobucket[/caption]

Fast forward to December 4, 2001. The Olympic Flame began its journey to Salt Lake City, Utah, from Olympia, Greece. It traveled across oceans, deserts, mountains and valleys to reach Olympic Cauldron Park in Salt Lake City on February 8, 2002, right in time for the opening ceremonies at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Local Utahns were chosen to carry the flame during the Olympic Torch Relay. Crowds lined the streets to get a look at the Olympic Flame and cheer for those that were honored to carry it.

My longtime neighbor, Senator Ed Mayne, was chosen as one of those selected to carry the Olympic Flame. You can see the excitement of the local community in the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-k_PQcGOyw

A fun way to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City is to visit all of the venues where the Olympics were held. Visit Salt Lake has created an Olympic Legacy Tour on SCVNGR, where you can visit all of the olympic venues, and complete challenges on your smartphone through a free app. Download the free SCVNGR app on your phone, and complete all of the challenges:

Can you believe it is ten years later, and we are looking back to 2002 when the world came to Salt Lake City?! It almost doesn't seem real. In the next month, there will be celebrations, displays and other events to celebrate the ten year anniversary:

Stay tuned to Enjoy Utah! for a look back at all memories of the 2002 Olympic Games.