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KISS Rocks Salt Lake City!

Closing Ceremonies

Creatures Of The Night: Salt Lake bids a reluctant farewell to Games:

(02/25/02 -- Yahoo!) The often-contentious 2002 Winter Olympics ended with choruses of Happy Trails to You and an assessment from International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge that Salt Lake City's effort was ''superb'' and ''inspiring.''

Sunday's closing ceremonies saw the night sky light up as the curtain came down on these Games, and for once during the XIX Winter Olympiad the fireworks didn't involve angry Russians or French skating judges.

A pyrotechnic show launched 10,000 shells in a four-minute span from 11 different locations stretched over 3.2 miles in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains that served as the backdrop at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium.

Carrying the U.S. flag was five-time Olympian Brian Shimer, driver of the bronze medal team in the four-man bobsled.

Vice President Dick Cheney entered at the outset with Rogge and the president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Mitt Romney, who told the crowd, ''Olympians, volunteers, spectators, thank you for 17 days we will never forget.''

Gold medalist figure skaters from past Olympics who performed on the Olympic stadium ice rink included Katarina Witt , Kristi Yamaguchi , Ilya Kulick, Scott Hamilton and a very game Dorothy Hamill. During a Saturday dress rehearsal, the 1976 women's champion lost her bearings while skating through an artificial fog bank and fell on a ramp. She hit her chin and throat and was treated at a hospital.

Kristi Yamaguchi and Katarina Witt were skating on a frozen stage while KISS bangs out "Rock and Roll All Nite."

Other performers included Gloria Estefan, Christina Aguilera, Harry Connick Jr., Earth, Wind & Fire, 'NSync and Bon Jovi.

The night's colorful Closing Ceremony peaked in the 9 p.m. hour with an average of nearly 44 million viewers and a 32 share in adults 18-49, highlighted by an eclectic mix of stars including KISS and Donny and Marie Osmond.

For all of primetime (including a one-hour Olympics-themed "Dateline" special at 7), NBC topped its combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in both total viewers (roughly 34.2 million vs. 28.8 million) and adults 18-49 (11.4 rating, 27 share vs. 10.5/25)

And taking possession of the Olympic flag from Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson was Sergio Chiamparino, mayor of Turin, the Italian city that will host the 2006 Winter Olympics.


Images of Eric Carr

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