XIX Olympic Winter Games Held in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
The 2002 Winter 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 Within.
Salt Lake City became the most populous area ever to have hosted a Winter Olympics; at the time of the Olympics its metropolitan population was 1,516,227. Torino would become the most populous area 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 City.
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 new CEO of the Salt Lake Games Mitt Romney then staged the Games and contended with the public opinion backlash due to the scandal.
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 Survelance and radar control was provided by the marines of Marine Air Control Squadron 2 det C, from Cherry Point NC.
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.