The Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games set attendance records for a Winter Games, selling more than 1.5 million tickets and attracting a daily average of more than 70,000 fans per day.
Landowner Alexander Cushing had a dream of turning an uninhabited valley near Lake Tahoe into the host of the Olympic Winter Games. Within five years, Squaw Valley transformed from an undeveloped site into a fully functioning town.
Speed skating, figure skating and hockey were all held on artificial ice for the first time ever, with the United States claiming a dramatic gold medal in hockey for the first time ever. CBS had purchased the exclusive rights to televise the Games in the United States – the first that that was done – and instant replay was born when Olympic officials asked CBS to check and see if a skier had missed a gate in the men’s slalom event.