This is it. The main highlight of any Olympic Games opening ceremony: the lighting of the Olympic Flame. Before that happens, many famous American winter Olympians takes the Olympic Torch on its final journey toward and inside the stadium. Here are the carriers in order:
(Outside the stadium)
- Dorothy Hamill (gold medalist in women's figure skating at Innsbruck 1976) and Dick Button (gold medalist in men's figure skating at both St. Moritz 1948 and Oslo 1952);
(Inside the stadium)
- Scott Hamilton (gold medalist in men's figure skating at Sarajevo 1984) with Peggy Fleming (gold medalist in women's figure skating at Grenoble 1968);
- Phil Mahre (a silver medalist at Lake Placid 1980 and a gold medalist at Sarajevo 1984 in slalom skiing) and Bill Johnson (gold medalist at Sarajevo 1984 in downhill alpine skiing);
- Bonnie Blair (5-time gold medalist and 1 bronze medal in long-track speed skating from Calgary 1988 to Lillehammer 1994) and Dan Jansen (gold medalist in the men's 1,0m long-track speed skating event at Lillehammer 1994);
- Jim Shea Jr. (which took the Olympic oath earlier here and would win the gold medal in men's skeleton in Salt Lake) and Jim Shea Sr.: Jim's father. This was in honor of Jack Shea (double gold medalist in long-track speed skating at Lake Placid 1932 in both the 500m and 1,500m events).
- Picabo Street (a silver medalist at Lillehammer 1994 in the downhill event and a gold medalist at Nagano 1998 in the Super-G event) and Cammi Granato (captain of the gold-medal American women's ice hockey team from Nagano 1998).
The moment of truth is here. The USA team that won the gold medal in ice hockey at Lake Placid 1980: deemed the Miracle on Ice team. The captain (Mike Eruzione), along with his old teammates, lights the Olympic cauldron! By the way, their Lake Placid 1980 performance was just voted (as of May 17, 2008) the best highlight in world ice hockey history! More congratulations to this former USA team!