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2002 Salt Lake City Olympics To Include Rodeo Top rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from the United States and Canada will share the world stage with winter sports athletes from around the world at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2002 Winter Games Cultural Olympiad Rodeo will be included in the Olympic Cultural Arts Festival organized as part of the 2002 Winter Games, according to an announcement made in Salt Lake City recently by rodeo officials and organizers of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Rodeo played to sold out crowds at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, when it made its first appearance in association with the Olympics. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the sport of rodeo to play not only before audiences from North America, but around the world," said PRCA Commissioner Steven J. Hatchell. "The 1988 experience was a tremendous success." The 2002 Winter Games Cultural Olympiad Rodeo will feature three performances February 9-11 at the Legacy Center in Farmington, Utah, about 12 miles north of Salt Lake City. The rodeo will feature teams of five competitors in each event from the United States and Canada competing in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing and bull riding. "It was a huge success the last time. They matched American cowboys and Canadian cowboys and they went for medals," said Bob Falkenberg, general manager of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. "I would think this one would be every bit as good (as the Calgary rodeo) if not better just because they've been through it once and know what to expect." Rodeo athletes will compete for shares of a $120,000 purse. They also will be striving to bring home something that is priceless - gold, silver or bronze medals. One of the highlights of the Calgary experience was the awards ceremony. Members of the U.S. and Canadian rodeo teams received their medals at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary.
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