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2002 Winter Olympics come to a close

Brian Shimer
Brian Shimer carries the American Flag during closing ceremonies.
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - The 2002 Winter Olympic Games have come to an end, as the closing ceremonies at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium on Sunday night capped 17 days of competition among athletes from 77 countries around the world.

Brian Shimer, the driver of yesterday's bronze medal winning four-man bobsled team, had the extreme honor of carrying the flag of the United States of America into the stadium at the start of the evening's festivities.

The 39-year-old Shimer drove his team (Dan Steele, Doug Sharp, and Mike Kohn) to the medal stand for the first time in his Olympic career in their final run at the Utah Olympic Oval yesterday. Shimer's career has spanned three decades (1988, '92, '94, '98 and 2002).

With Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney watching, pop idols 'NSYNC sang the Star Bangled Banner. The evening also included musical performances by Christina Aguilera, KISS, Bon Jovi, Harry Connick, Jr., Gloria Estefan and others.

Rocky Anderson, the mayor of Salt Lake City, made the official passing of the Olympic flag to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, who then handed the flag to Sergio Chaimparino. Chaimparino is the mayor of Torino, the Italian city which will host the 2006 Winter Games.

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