Utah favorites and internationally-recognized composers Sam Cardon and Kurt Bestor have created this special concert.

For more information on "Keepers of the Flame" or the Cultural Olympiad, go to www.saltlake2002.com and click on "Tickets" "Olympic Arts Festival".

This kick-off concert of the Cultural Olympiad is titled "Keepers of the Flame." Kurt and Sam have combined their musical talents with a theatrical piece including historic Olympic footage of some of the Games' most memorable moments.

In the midst of the emerging Nazi empire rose an Olympian, American Jesse Owens. It is stories like his that inspired a couple of our best contemporary musicians.

Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon have teamed up once again to created a score that highlights achievement, and at the same time attempts to blur the line between art and sport.

Kurt Bestor: "It takes the same amount of discipline to learn how to play the violin as it does to go down the luge or to do slalom skiing, the same amount of success and failure."

Sam Cardon: "Kurt and I are both wanna-be athletes and, you know, had we got our college scholarships in athletics, maybe we wouldn't be doing this, i don't know. but we're thrilled to be a part of it."

"Keepers of the Flame" will pay tribute to other memorable Olympians, like Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, gold medal winning Russian pairs skaters whose love story took a tragic turn when he died suddenly of heart failure.

Kurt talks about a personal favorite, one woman whose struggle touched his heart ? Mirsa Burich.

"At the time, she was running for the country of Yugoslavia. but the war broke out and she got put in a concentration camp. she lost all sorts of weight. She couldn't train except to run through bombed out Bosnia, through Sarajevo, and ended up getting last place or close to last in her event. but she carried the first flag of Bosnia in the Olympics."

There is something, Bestor and Cardon say, about certain people's spirit that makes the rest of us celebrate the Games, called the world's greatest gathering.

"Keepers of the Flame" opens Monday night at 8:00 at Kingsbury Hall. This production also runs February 12th through the 14th.