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Ahead of the Game
When the Olympic Flame arrives in Salt Lake City, Utah, to inaugurate the 2002 Winter Games, it will have traveled roughly 22,500 kilometers through more than 40 states. For many people in Salt Lake City, though, the most difficult journey was completed in 1995. That was when their city was selected as the site of the 19th Winter Games.
The selection was a culmination of three decades of effort. During this time, Salt Lake City had been chosen to represent the United States three times. It lost out twice to Japanese cities, and once to Innsbruck, Austria.
More than a million people are expected to descend on Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Games. This is a far cry from 1924, when the Winter Games were not much more than a tack-on to the (Summer) Olympics.
The Winter Olympic Games became official in 1928. They have been held every four years since, with the exceptions of 1940 and 1944. By 1988, the Winter Games had become so popular that IOC officials decided to hold the Winter and Summer Games in different years.
This year, 2,345 men and women from 80 nations will compete for medals in events ranging from figure skating to snowboarding. The most popular event, though, is expected to be the spectacle of the opening ceremonies when an estimated 3.5 billion people will tune in.
1. culmination n. 全盛
2. far cry phr. 遥远的距离，大不同的事物
3. spectacle n. 奇观
4. tune in phr.v. 收看（电视转播的）频道