Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 'Miracle on Ice' US Hockey Team and the rest of the gold medal hockey squad prepare to light the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb. 8, 2002.
Miracle On Ice’ Team Lights The Olympic Cauldron
Twenty-two years after they stunned the world by winning the 1980 Olympic gold medal in Lake Placid, New York, members of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team, led by captain Mike Eruzione, lit the Olympic cauldron at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium to open the Games. Eruzione’s identity was unknown before he emerged to light the flame.
“It was the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep,” Eruzione said later.
As their 1980 hockey heroes performed the ceremonial task, the sold-out home crowd chanted the familiar “USA! USA!”
President Bush Opens The Games
As the cleanup continued at “Ground Zero,” George W. Bush became the first American president to open an Olympic Games.
“On behalf of a proud, determined, and grateful nation,” said Bush, “I declare open the Games of Salt Lake City, celebrating the Olympic Winter Games.”