February 06, 2012

2002 Olympics. Has it really been 10 years?

Olympic Torch at Delicate Arch, Moab

The Salt Lake Tribune ran a section yesterday remembering the 10 Anniversary. Really? 10 years? It seems like only yesterday. I remember watching TV when they announced that Salt Lake City had been picked to host the 2002 Olympics. Later on we moved on to scandal as only Utah is capable of putting one together because of possible bribes (or as many called it back then--business as usual), then having Mitt Romney come and rescue them out of financial darkness.

Then 911 happened

We all thought that all the planning and anticipation was for nothing, yet the games went on. I remember seeing employees from the FBI and many other agencies going around town and giving us all a sense of safety.

I remember watching the Olympic torch going through the streets live instead of TV as I had only ever seen the torch before, this time arriving and going through Salt Lake and feeling completely overcome by the meaning of what was happening to our town, as Karl Malone and John Stockton lit the cauldron at the City and County building--all pretty emotional. Salt Lake City was transformed into a party town like it had not been seen before and probably never see again, but I also had never been to an outdoor event where we went through security check a few times through.

People were friendly, warm, happy...

At the time I was riding Trax (light train system that was built to help with public transportation before, during and after) to work and back and I remember running into a lot of interesting characters and giving directions to tons of people who wanted to know what in the world State Street, 100 South, 300 West meant (street names) and if anything for 2 weeks it didn't matter who was local, who wasn't, who spoke what language, who was Mormon or who was Baptist or whatever, the world came down and came together in Utah.

Fun times...

I don't know if I'll ever experience anything like that in my lifetime, but it was fun to remember all of it and the legacy that it left. I remember hearing someone at work saying something silly like "the Olympics put Salt Lake City in weather maps of all the major newscasts and shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America"

Probably... :-)

It was just a cute way to recognize that Utah wasn't just some weird state somewhere out West where everyone was kind of quirky and weird!

Good times, good memories.


  1. It stands out in my mind because it was while my brother was providing security at the Olympics that his brain tumor was discovered. He was at an entrance gate checking cameras to make sure they were not disguises for devices and he suddenly couldn't read remember how to read to enter notes on his clipboard. He told another soldier he didn't know how to read anymore and they had to find a higher ranking officer to tell that Bobby was sick.

  2. Oh yeah Hope, I do remember way back then that your brother started dealing with his tumors...that had to have been rough for everyone. Hope you're doing alright.

  3. I actually saw someone wearing the SLC Olympics hat here in Louisiana a few days ago.