|Very early in the morning of February 7,
2002, I made my way up Ogden canyon east of the city of Ogden, Utah to meet
the Torch Caravan in Park City, Utah. Even at this early hour, I could feel
and see the excitement of the pending 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In the
lower parts of the canyon, folks were dressed in patriotic and Olympic garb,
signs were everywhere. Most of the cars and trucks displayed the American
Driving up the snow covered road in this beautiful narrow canyon, I
couldn't help but notice many of the summer homes along both sides of the
road were decorated with US Flags, and flags of the competing nations. My
thoughts wandered from the beauty of the canyon and the Olympics to
September 11th, and I hoped that the dark cloud of that day would not hamper the
sprit that was so obvious throughout the Salt Lake valley.
Even on this back
road security was everywhere. What little traffic I saw was made up of
mostly law enforcement vehicles of some sort, and an occasional "Black Hawk"
helicopter would fly overhead. Following a local County
sheriffs car, I made the turn past "Snow Basin", one of the
Olympic game sites, and my thoughts went
immediately back to the Olympic games.
Looking over at the big white mountain on my
surrounded by clear blue sky, I could see the distant orange fencing that
marked the location for event on this mountain that would take place in 24
hours. The law enforcement vehicles although still present, were soon out
numbered by the buses coming up the hill from Morgan, Utah carrying early
tourists, skiers, reporters, and others to the Snow Basin venue.
||As I approached Park City,
"Olympic Fever" began to grow.. One couldn't help it.. Snow, blue sky,
and purple and yellow venue signs, blue and white "2002 Olympics" signs and people,
lived in Park City, or were a major sponsor, you were not allowed to
drive into town. Special parking lots were setup and buses were provided
to take you into the main part of town and to the various venue sites. I
parked my Suburban, and hopped on a bus, arriving at the main bus stop,
I was greeted by the "Ice Crystal" welcome sign.
The torch was still a couple of hours
away, but the crowds were already building. The torch was almost to it's
destination here in Park City.
|Right: Inside the Coca-Cola
tent, this was one big tent but with spectators and athletes alike
to pickup souvenirs, and enjoy the entertainment, they soon had to start
letting us in in groups. I had planned to spend a lot of time in the
Media Center, but hey, I was getting the fever, and wanted to be part of
||Left: The "Chevrolet Hospitality Tent"
in Park City.
For those of you in warmer climates - although parked on
dry pavement here, there was indeed a couple feet of snow in Park City,
and Chevrolet was driving all these vehicles - Including the Red Z06
parked second from the end at the top of the photo.
|Right: One of the 50 Chevrolet Torch Convoy
Vehicles. Chevrolet and GM made a tremendous contribution to these
games.. This big corporation and the employees and volunteers traveling
with the Torch could defiantly "feel the fire within".
||Left: Dressing the Part? I haven't seen
a "Cone Head" in years! This was some party..
|Right: A very good local "Blue Grass"
band entertains the crowd waiting for the torch arrival. The Torch Route
map hangs in the background.
||Left: Crowds begin to form above the
Chevrolet stage where the flame will arrive. You could feel the
excitement in the air. Looking up the hill from the stage there were
hundreds of people sitting on snow banks.
The sun was out, the temperature in the 20's all in all a nice day as
Utah winters go, but these folks were all warm from the "fire within"
|Right: A Torch sculpture, created
by a Park City artist, and commissioned by
Chevrolet for Park City, Utah - stands on the "Chevrolet Hot Spot" Stage.
I'm still trying to figure out why though, with all the beautiful
scenery they needed a painted backdrop for the television and video
The Flame of the 2002 Winter Games was
lit November 19, 2001, in Olympia, Greece. It traveled to Athens before
arriving in Atlanta, Georgia - the previous U.S. city to host the
Left: It arrives on day 64, at the
second to the last stop, Park City, Utah - On it's way to light the
Olympic flame in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Beginning it's trek on December 4th in
than 11,500 Torchbearers have helped carry the Olympic Flame through 250
U.S. cities and 46 states. 11,500 plus torches were made, and I was told the
glass flame cup on each is unique to each torch, just like a finger
Left: The first torch bearer in
Park City, makes her way to the "Chevy Hot Spot" stage to symbolically
light the torch sculpture pictured above that Chevrolet
commissioned for the event, and will donate to the Park City Art Center.
|Right: There was indeed a crowd here! Your
looking at nine blocks of Park City Main Street, from the "Chevrolet Hot
Spot" Stage to the "Chevrolet Torch Relay Stage" - Solid People!
The street looked the same way behind me.
The Torch Relay took 65 days, traveled 13,500 miles and involved 50
Chevrolet vehicles -
including one very special CORVETTE.
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