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SMALL TOWN, BIG DREAMS

Salt Lake City 2002

On February 8, 2002, the athletes of 77 nations march into Salt Lake City's Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Opening Ceremonies of the XIX Olympic Winter Games. The Olympic Torch is lit by the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" hockey team, and third-generation Olympian Jim Shea takes the athletes' oath – as his grandfather Jack did in Lake Placid 70 years ago.

Shea's sport, skeleton, is back on the Olympic program for the first time since 1948, and women's bobsled makes its debut. In biathlon Norway's Ole Einar Bjorndalen wins gold in all four men's races, while Finland's Samppa Lajunen wins all three gold medals in nordic combined.

American Sarah Hughes wins the gold medal in women's figure skating, while Russia's Alexei Yagudin wins the men's title.

The gold medal game in men's ice hockey, which now features NHL players competing for their respective national teams, comes down to a battle between Canada and the United States. Despite its dominance at the pro level, Canada is seeking its first Olympic title in 50 years – and the Canadians claim it by defeating the Americans 5-2.

Racing with his grandfather's photo tucked into his racing suit, Jim Shea speeds down the skelton track to victory, becoming the second member of his family to win Olympic gold.

In all, Americans win 34 medals at the Salt Lake Games, making them Team USA's most successful Winter Olympics to date.
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