Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games

[Translate to English:] Zimske olimpijske igre Salt Lake City 2002

The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially the 19th Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, from 8 to 24 February 2002. Slovenian athletes performed excellently at the games and brought home an Olympic medal - this time it was in ski jumping. Other candidates for these Olympics were Quebec, Canada; Sion, Swizerland and Östersund, Sweden. Salt Lake City was selected in the summer of 1995.


Time and Place: Salt Lake City (USA), 8 – 24 February 2002
Participation: 78 countries, 2,399 athletes
Number of sports: 15 sports, 78 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 41
Fire lit by: USA hockey team which won gold at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics
Games opened by: George W. Bush (President of the USA)
Olympic oath: Jim Shea (skeleton competitor)
Motto: Light the fire within


Trivia from the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games

Before the Games a number of IOC members were forced to resign after it was discovered they accepted bribes for voting for Salt Lake City to host the 19th Winter Olympics. The resigned members included members of the Games' organizing committee.


Olympic heights


The Games also set new records in terms of doping scandals. Spaniard Johann Muehlegg and Russians Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova were disqualified for using darbepoetin, but the Olympic medals they won before the doping test were never taken from them. Briton Alain Baxter lost his bronze medal in the slalom despite the fact that testing later revealed he used a common cold inhaler and his medal was never returned.


V prvem tednu umetnostnega drsanja je ruski par Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze beat Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier who later protested that the French judge was under pressure and gave excessively high marks to the Russian couple, bringing them the gold. The Russians were never stripped of their medal.Various other athletes in short track speedskating and cross country skiing were also disqualified for various reasons. 


For the first time in Winter Olympics history, medals were won by Estonia and Croatia and the first gold medals were won by Australia and the People's republic of China.The womens' double bobsled event was held for the first time and skeleton made an appearance for the first time since the 5th Winter Olympics of 1948.


The Games saw their fair share of Olympic heroes. Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen won three individual events and won another gold in the relay. Both ski jumping events were won by Swiss Simon Ammann and Croatian alpine skier Janica Kostelić wrote history with three gold medals and one silver. German luger Georg Hackl won a silver medal, becoming the first athlete with four consecutive medals.