In the first women’s bobsleigh competition in Olympic Winter Games history, Jill Bakken and brakewoman Vonetta Flowers (USA) were the surprise winners of the gold medal. They won ahead of the favorites, the two German teams, which finished second and third
Memories are what the Games are all about. One of the best in Salt Lake came out of the luge venue. The three veteran titans of the sport — Armin Zoeggeler, Georg Hackl and Markus Prock — locked up in a final classic battle, combining to break the track record five times. When the ice chips cleared, Zoeggeler had finally won his gold, Hackl owned an Olympic record after winning a medal in a fifth straight Games and Prock was forced to settle for the bronze.
If there is one rule that applies to the Games, it’s to expect the unexpected. Nowhere at the Games did the unexpected happen as dramatically as at the ski jumping venue at Utah Olympic Park. Coming into the Games, the gold appeared to a tug-of-war between Poland’s Adam Malysz and Germany’s Sven Hannawald. But no one told Switzerland’s Simon Ammann. Two weeks after a horrible crash, he won both of the individual events, sending a shock wave through the sport.
With five medals in four events, the United States of America asserted itself as the dominant nation in the American-invented sport of snowboarding — although France isn’t far behind.
An extraordinary collection of photographs are on public display in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center. A dozen esteemed photographers, assembled by John Huet, were given behind-the-scenes access to the 2002 Games. With old-fashioned cameras on their backs, they moved out of the press box and into the field of play. The result was more than 50 black and white images that seek to capture the powerful Olympic spirit. The display, called “The Fire Within,” is located on the second floor of the Quinney Center.