A lot of that hard work is happening in former Olympic host cities like Lake Placid, New York, Squaw Valley, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah, the last U.S. city to host the games.
Sochi is about to discover, going for the gold is a legacy of the past and the fuel for the future.
The 2002 Winter Games are considered by many as the most successful Winter Olympics ever. There were great athletes, great competition, and thousands of volunteers. The games made money and left a lasting legacy.
Derek Parra, Olympic gold medalist said, "I think the Olympic spirit you felt in every community that we went across the country visiting with the torch was incredible."
Part of the legacy of the 2002 winter games are the facilities left behind. The ski resorts were already there, but a ski jump had to be built, a luge and bobsled track, and the Olympic oval for skating events. And now those facilities are being used to train the next generation of Olympic athletes.
"If you're one of the top skaters in the country, you're here training. The Olympic team, I think about 99 percent of the team will be training here as well as here in the park with the other alpine sports and the slope style sports," Parra said.
Reminders of the 2002 games are everywhere. The Olympic cauldrons, the pictures, the buildings, the mementos, even the clothing is still being worn with pride.
"It's kind of a neat thing with all of the volunteers and the people who worked for the Olympics here. They feel this passion and that they are a part of every Olympics that happens down the road. So from myself as I see the games, it always brings back a flood of incredible memories of what Utah and Salt Lake City was able to do for the Olympic movement," said Walker.
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