Former Italian skiing sensation Alberto Tomba is believed by many to be the choice to light the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremonies, and he will have quite a trek to the top of the Olympic Stadium to do it. Pininfarina SpA, which designs Ferraris, created the tallest Olympic cauldron ever: It rises 200 feet, which is about 20 stories. Before the flame is lit, signaling the start of the Winter Games, the Opening Ceremonies promise the sartorial inspiration of designer Giorgio Armani and the choreographic influence of dance star Roberto Bolle of Milan's La Scala. An experimental technology that can create a flame up to two meters long will help illuminate themes of rhythm, passion and speed. A team of eight ice skaters will speed around the rink in a choreographed race, one part of an immense entertainment undertaking that will include 6,100 volunteers, 240 professionals, 500 pairs of skates and 32 television cameras.
In a moment captured by NBC, Cohen asked the President to say hi to her mother Galina, a Ukrainian immigrant watching the event at a nearby hotel who later said she was in disbelief when she heard Bush's voice. The two chatted for about a minute and a half, with the president assuring her that her daughter was behaving herself.
The call wasn't the only bright spot. A kickoff ceremony nervously awaited because of security concerns in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, went off without a hitch. The 1980 U.S. hockey team joined former team captain Mike Eruzione on the stadium's top step to light the Olympic flame.