|Competition type||Olympic Games|
|Host city||Torino, Italy (Venues)|
|Opening ceremony||10 February|
|Closing ceremony||26 February|
|Competition dates||11 – 26 February|
|OCOG||Organising Committee for the XX Olympic Winter Games Torino 2006|
|Participants||2494 from 79 countries|
|Medal events||84 in 15 disciplines|
By all accounts there was nothing wrong with the Torino Winter Olympics. But neither was there anything special about them. Prior to the Games, there were reports of apathy towards the Games in Italy, with significant cost overruns and the government at first refusing to help the Organizing Committee, although finally they came to their aid. The Italian government also raised athletes’ hackles by proposing to enforce Italian criminal laws against doping at the Torino Olympics. Even the hyper-strict anti-doping Gods of WADA did not want criminal charges against the athletes, and eventually a compromise was reached. Finally, the 20th Olympic Winter Games were held in Torino but the apathy continued, with many venues lacking for spectators and many tickets going unsold. It was the Winter Olympics that they gave, but nobody came.
But again, there was nothing wrong inherently with Torino as a host city, nor was there anything significantly lacking in these Olympic Winter Games. They were just burdened throughout by a sense of ennui. After the Games had ended, the world’s sporting press, in an unofficial poll, lumped the Torino Olympics with Atlanta in 1996 as their least memorable Olympic Games – hardly stirring company.
To the hometown fans, the big hero was their speedskater, Enrico Fabris, who won three medals, including two gold. The biggest medal winner at Torino was another speed skater, Canadian Cindy Klassen, who won medals in five of the six speed skating events for women. However, even the speed skating was hampered by a very slow ice surface. No world records were approached, and except for the new events of team pursuit, only one Olympic record was broken, that of the men’s 1,000 metres by American Shani Davis.
On the snow, Croatia’s Janica Kostelić won two alpine skiing medals. Added to her four medals from Salt Lake City, this made her the first alpine skier to win six Olympic medals. To add to the family sideboard, her brother, Ivica, also won a medal in men’s alpine skiing. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Torino results was in cross-country skiing, where Norway, normally the dominant nation in this sport, won no gold medals. Norway did manage four medals in cross-country, but only three silver and a bronze.
The Olympic athletes in Torino displayed their usual superb performances. But there was no star at Torino – nobody stood out, and one could not identify these Games with a single athlete, as so often happens. It seemed to be the perfect eulogy for the Torino Winter Olympics.
Bid voting at the 109th IOC Session in Seoul on 19 June 1999. After the Olympic Scandal of early 1999, the Evaluation Commission of the IOC pared the candidates to only two that were voted upon by the full IOC Session. Eliminated cities were Helsinki (Finland) (with Lillehammer (Norway)), Klagenfurt (Austria) (with Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) and Jesnice (Slovenia)), Poprad-Tatry (Slovakia) and Zakopane (Poland).
|Officially opened by||Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (President)|
|Torchbearer(s)||Stefania Belmondo (Lit flame), Alberto Tomba, Maurilio De Zolt, Marco Albarello, Giorgio Vanzetta, Silvio Fauner, Piero Gros, Deborah Compagnoni|
|Taker of the Athlete's Oath||Giorgio Rocca|
|Taker of the Official's Oath||Fabio Bianchetti|
|Olympic Flag Bearers||Sophia Loren, Isabel Allende, Nawal El-Moutawakel, Susan Sarandon, Wangari Maathai, Manuela Di Centa, Maria Mutola, Mam Somaly|
|Alpine Skiing||Figure Skating||Short Track Speed Skating|
|Bobsleigh||Ice Hockey||Ski Jumping|
|Cross Country Skiing||Luge||Snowboarding|
|Curling||Nordic Combined||Speed Skating|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||6||3||2||11|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||2||4||5||11|
|Viktor An|| KOR
|Giorgio Di Centa||ITA||2||0||0||2|