2006 Winter Olympics


Competition type Olympic Games
Host city (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 process

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).

Round 1
Torino Italy 53
Sion Switzerland 36


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 (Speed Skating)
Flagbearers Full list
Olympic Flag Bearers Sophia Loren, Isabel Allende, Nawal El-Moutawakel, Susan Sarandon, Wangari Maathai, Manuela Di Centa, Maria Mutola, Mam Somaly

Medal Disciplines

Alpine Skiing Figure Skating Short Track Speed Skating
Biathlon Freestyle Skiing Skeleton
Bobsleigh Ice Hockey Ski Jumping
Cross Country Skiing Luge Snowboarding
Curling Nordic Combined Speed Skating

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 11 12 6 29
United States USA 9 9 7 25
Austria AUT 9 7 7 23
Russian Federation RUS 8 6 8 22
Canada CAN 7 10 7 24
Sweden SWE 7 2 5 14
Republic of Korea KOR 6 3 2 11
Switzerland SUI 5 4 5 14
Italy ITA 5 0 6 11
France FRA 3 2 4 9
Netherlands NED 3 2 4 9
Estonia EST 3 0 0 3
Norway NOR 2 8 9 19
People's Republic of China CHN 2 4 5 11
Czech Republic CZE 1 2 1 4
Croatia CRO 1 2 0 3
Australia AUS 1 0 1 2
Japan JPN 1 0 0 1
Finland FIN 0 6 3 9
Poland POL 0 1 1 2
Belarus BLR 0 1 0 1
Bulgaria BUL 0 1 0 1
Great Britain GBR 0 1 0 1
Slovakia SVK 0 1 0 1
Ukraine UKR 0 0 2 2
Latvia LAT 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Viktor An KOR
3 0 1 4
Michael Greis GER 3 0 0 3
Jin Seon-Yu KOR 3 0 0 3
Felix Gottwald AUT 2 1 0 3
Sven Fischer GER 2 0 1 3
Enrico Fabris ITA 2 0 1 3
Kristina Šmigun-Vähi EST 2 0 0 2
Michaela Dorfmeister AUT 2 0 0 2
Giorgio Di Centa ITA 2 0 0 2
Svetlana Ishmuratova RUS 2 0 0 2
Björn Lind SWE 2 0 0 2
Benjamin Raich AUT 2 0 0 2
André Lange GER 2 0 0 2
Kevin Kuske GER 2 0 0 2
Thomas Morgenstern AUT 2 0 0 2

All medalists at these Games