General News

Salt Lake closes an overall positive and lucrative Winter Games

By:
Feb 25, 2002 | 9:38am EST

With 10,000 fireworks, ultraviolet ice painting and a slew of celebrity singers and performers, Salt Lake City put on a giant party as the 19th Winter Games came to a close Sunday, Reuters reports.

Among the star-studded performers at Rice-Eccles Stadium were 'N Sync; Christina Aguilera; Moby; Earth, Wind & Fire; Harry Connick Jr.; Willie Nelson and heavy-metal bands Kiss and Bon Jovi, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

At one point, even former football 49ers quarterback Steve Young could be seen onstage with Bon Jovi, standing in as a backup singer.

Former Olympian skaters Kurt Browning, Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt and Dorothy Hamill were in the spotlight--and on ice, again, too.

The closing ceremony echoed the opening ceremony's large-scale grandeur with giant snowballs (white plastic beach balls) floating down the bleachers and famous Utah celebs Donnie and Marie Osmond singing and pretending to operate two giant, blushing dinosaurs.

There was certainly no shortage of color--fluorescent stick men skated, colorful splashes of glowing paint were thrown atop the ice floor, and fireworks were bright and plentiful--and neither was there a shortage of ratings.

Over the course of the 17-day Games, NBC averaged a 19 household rating/31 share for its nighttime coverage through Saturday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In addition, NBC will net approximately $75 million from the Games, grossing $20 million more than planned, NBC execs said Sunday.

The Games--which had their share of controversy, including a French judge's dismissal from the figure skating panel, the Russian Federation's threat to boycott the ceremonies and triple gold-medalist Johann Muehlegg's disqualification due to a drug test--wrapped up with 2,500 athletes from 78 different countries celebrating their athletic abilities and their cultural cohesion.

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