Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games

2002 Salt Lake Paralympic Games Torch Lighting - Waddell
Associated Press photo/Lawrence Jackson

Chris Waddell, who had previously won five Paralympic gold medals and four Paralympic silver medals, added to his collection with one silver and two bronze medals in the Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games.


Guided by his dog, Eric Weihenmeyer, the first blind person to successfully climb Mount Everest, carried the Paralympic Torch to the podium, where he handed it off to top American sit-skiers Muffy Davis and Chris Waddell to light the Paralympic Flame. That Opening Ceremony, before a crowd of more than 40,000, set the tone for an exciting Paralympic Winter Games. The U.S. Men’s Sled Hockey Team won the gold medal in a shootout over Norway.

Paralympic Highlights

  • Nations: 36
  • Athletes: 415 (328 men, 87 women)
  • Disciplines: 4
  • Medal Count: United States 43 (10 gold, 22 silver, 11 bronze); Germany 33 (17 gold, 1 silver, 15 bronze); Austria 29 (9 gold, 10 silver, 10 bronze)
The United States' women's teams enjoyed resounding success at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, capturing the first-ever gold medals in women's soccer and softball, as well as winning gold in women's gymnastics team all-around and women's basketball.
The first Olympic Games held without government financing since the first modern Games in 1896, the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games became a model for the future with its reliance on existing facilities and corporate sponsors, turning a $223 million profit.
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