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NY Mayor, Olympic Athletes Light 72nd Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and three U.S. Olympic gold medal winners have helped light this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in Manhattan.

The mayor joined ice skater Sarah Hughes and gymnasts Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson to throw the switch that turned on the tree's 30,000 lights. It was the 72nd annual tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center.

Thousands of spectators were on hand for the event, which was nationally televised on a program featuring musical performers and other celebrities. Officials say this year's tree is a 22-meter tall Norway spruce, topped by a star covered in 25,000 crystals.

The tree will remain lit until January 6. The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be lit during a ceremony in Washington December 9.