2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games (Italian: XX Giochi olimpici invernali) and commonly known as Turin 2006 or Torino 2006, was a winter multi-sport event which was held in Turin, Piedmont, Italy from February 10 to 26, 2006. This marked the second time that Italy had hosted the Winter Olympic Games, the first being the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Italy also hosted the Summer Olympics in 1960 in Rome. Turin was selected as the host city for the 2006 Games in June 1999.
|Host city||Turin, Italy|
|Motto||Passion lives here|
(Italian: La passione vive qui)
|Athletes||2,508 (1,548 men, 960 women)|
|Events||84 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)|
|Stadium||Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino|
|Part of a series on|
The official motto of the XX Olympic Winter Games was "Passion lives here". The official logo depicts a stylized profile of the Mole Antonelliana building, drawn in white and blue ice crystals, signifying the snow and the sky. The crystal web was also meant to portray the web of new technologies and the Olympic spirit of community. The Olympic mascots of the Games were Neve ("snow" in Italian), a female snowball, and Gliz, a male ice cube. Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo 20 years after these games.
Host city selection
Turin was chosen as the host of the Olympics on June 19, 1999, at the 109th IOC Session in Seoul, South Korea. This was after the IOC had adopted new election procedures during the 108th Extraordinary IOC Session in light of the controversies surrounding the votes for the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics.
Since IOC members were forbidden from visiting the candidate cities (in the interests of reducing bribery), the 109th IOC Session elected a special body, the Selection College, to choose finalist cities from the pool of candidate cities after each had made their final presentations to the full IOC Session.
The full IOC Session then voted on the cities chosen as finalist cities by the Selection College. Although six cities launched candidacies and made presentations to the full IOC Session, the Selection College chose only two cities to go forward to be voted upon by the full IOC Session: Sion and Turin. The candidacies of Helsinki, Finland; Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia; Zakopane, Poland; and Klagenfurt, Austria were dropped by the Selection College after all six candidate cities made their candidate presentations.
The selection of Turin over Sion came as a surprise, since Sion was the overwhelming favorite in part because the IOC is based in Switzerland. Turin's selection came two years after Rome's unsuccessful 2004 Summer Olympics bid. Those games were ultimately awarded to Athens, Greece.
The information below comes from the International Olympic Committee Vote History web page.
|2006 Winter Olympics bidding results|
Cost and cost overrun
The Oxford Olympics Study established the outturn cost of the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics at US$4.4 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 80% in real terms. This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost and cost overrun for Torino 2006 compares with costs of US$2.5 billion and a cost overrun of 13% for Vancouver 2010, and costs of US$51 billion and a cost overrun of 289% for Sochi 2014, the latter being the most costly Olympics to date. Average cost for Winter Games since 1960 is US$3.1 billion, average cost overrun is 142%.
The 2006 Winter Olympics featured 84 medal events over 15 disciplines in 7 sports. Events that made their Olympic debut in Turin included mass start biathlon, team sprint cross-country skiing, snowboard cross and team pursuit speed skating. Most of the cross-country skiing events at these Games involved different distances from those at the previous Winter Games in 2002. The classical men's 50 km and women's 30 km distances, which were held at Salt Lake 2002, were not included in these Games, as these events were alternated with freestyle events of the same distances.
The following list shows the sports and disciplines that were contested at the 2006 Games.
Biathlon (10) ()
Curling (2) ()
- Ice hockey
Ice hockey (2) ()
Luge (3) ()
Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each separate discipline.
|OC||Opening ceremony||●||Event competitions||1||Event finals||EG||Exhibition gala||CC||Closing ceremony|
The top ten listed NOCs by number of gold medals are listed below.
Host country (Italy)
To sort this table by nation, total medal count, or any other column, click on the
|Totals (11 nations)||73||57||61||191|
Day 1 (Opening Ceremony)
Stefania Belmondo, a 10-time Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing, lit the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremony on February 10. Before that, the ceremony celebrated the best of Italy and Sport including a segment honoring the Alps. The FilmMaster Group K-events (from March 2012: Filmmaster Events) created and produced the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006. Executive Producer Marco Balich, Content Supervisor Alfredo Accatino, Art Direction Lida Castelli. Monica Maimone of Studio Festi directed the section From Renaissance To Baroque, part of the Opening Ceremony.
The first gold medal of the 2006 Games was awarded in the 20 kilometre biathlon, won by German Michael Greis on the first day of competition. Ice hockey began with the women's competition; Sweden defeated Russia 3–1 in the first match while Canada's team opened with the second most lopsided win in Olympic history by beating the host Italians 16–0.
On February 12, Latvia won its first winter Olympic medal when Mārtiņš Rubenis took the bronze in the men's luge. Armin Zöggeler's win in that event gave Italy its first gold medal of the Games, and his fourth in a row.
Chinese figure skating pair Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, trailing a dominant Russian pair, attempted a throw quadruple salchow jump—an element which had never been successfully completed in competition. Zhang Dan fell, injuring her knee, but the pair finished their program to a standing ovation and took the silver medal. Russia finished the third day of competition with two gold medals, as did the United States.
The fourth day saw Evgeni Plushenko of Russia set a world record score in the men's figure skating short program; his 90.66 points was more 10 points better than the nearest opponent's score. The men's combined alpine skiing was riddled with disqualifications, including front-runners Bode Miller and Benjamin Raich. American Ted Ligety won the event in what was considered an upset.
Canada had another strong day on February 15, setting new Olympic records in both men's and women's pursuit team speed skating events as well as opening the men's ice hockey competition with a win against Italy. Italy finished the day with the men's pursuit team Olympic record, however, after the Netherlands bettered Canada's time only to have Italy improve upon theirs. China won its first gold of 2006 with Wang Meng's victory in the women's individual 500-metre short track speed skating. A pair of Austrian brothers Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger won the men's doubles luge while Michaela Dorfmeister gave the nation another championship in the women's downhill.
Kristina Šmigun won her second gold medal of the Games with a victory in the women's 10 kilometre classical cross-country skiing on February 16, remaining the only Estonian to medal. In men's curling action, Great Britain edged Germany 7–6, Switzerland kept New Zealand winless by winning 9–7, Canada beat Norway 7–6, and the United States defeated Sweden, 10–6. LGBT figure skater Jeffrey Buttle from Canada won the bronze in the men's singles. It was the only medals for him and Stéphane Lambiel from Switzerland.
On February 17, Tanja Frieden of Switzerland took the gold in women's snowboard cross after Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States fell on the second-to-last jump while performing an unnecessary method grab. Jacobellis settled for silver (she would have won gold if she didn't perform the grab), while Canada's Dominique Maltais took bronze after recovering from a crash. Duff Gibson of Canada took gold in the skeleton just ahead of fellow Canadian Jeff Pain, becoming the oldest individual gold medalist in Winter Olympics history. Rodney Hiner of the United States took home the Bronze. In the women's ice hockey semifinals, the United States lost a shootout to Sweden.
Kjetil André Aamodt won gold for Norway in the men's Super G on February 18, beating Hermann Maier of Austria. Germans Kati Wilhelm and Martina Glagow finished first and second in the 10 kilometre biathlon pursuit. The host Italians defeated Canada in men's curling, while Switzerland did the same in men's ice hockey to put the Canadians on the wrong end of two major upsets on the same day. The United States men's ice hockey team suffered its first loss of the tournament as Slovakia and Russia continue their dominance of the pool.
Lascelles Brown became the first Jamaican-born competitor to win a medal at the Winter Olympics on February 19, competing on the Canadian 2-man bobsleigh team which finished second in an extremely tight competition. The German pair was only .21 seconds ahead of the Canadians, themselves only .14 ahead of the Swiss team. Finland continued to be unbeaten in men's ice hockey, handing Canada its second loss.
The day also saw the most hyped event of these games, at least in Europe, as the Men's 10 km Cross Country Relay was scheduled. The battle stemmed from the Lillehammer games 12 years ago in which Italy out-dueled Norway in that very same event. To that extent, many Norwegians wanted to win this event in order to embarrass the Italians on their home turf, but it was not to be as Italy crushed the field winning over Germany by over 15 seconds to take their 5th straight gold in this event. Norway failed to medal for the first time since 1988.
The final day of curling pool play was February 20; Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada advanced to the women's semifinals while Finland, Canada, the United States, and Great Britain qualified in the men's competition. Austria took their first team gold medal in ski jumping, while Canada took their second in women's ice hockey.
Slovakia and Finland both won their final men's ice hockey games on February 21 to win their respective pools with 5–0–0 records. Enrico Fabris gave the host nation another gold medal in speed skating by winning the men's 1500 metres.
On February 22, the twelfth day of competition, Anja Pärson won her first gold medal in the women's slalom; it was her fifth overall Olympic medal and third of the 2006 Games. Chandra Crawford took a quicker route to the top of the podium, winning the 1.1 kilometre cross-country sprint gold in her Olympic debut. In the men's ice hockey quarterfinals, the previously undefeated Slovaks lost to the Czech Republic while Russia, Finland, and Sweden eliminated Canada, the United States, and Switzerland, respectively. Philipp Schoch successfully defended his snowboarding giant slalom gold against his brother Simon.
Sweden took the women's championship in the curling finals held on February 23. Shizuka Arakawa gave Japan its first gold medal of the Games and first figure skating gold medal, winning the ladies' figure skating competition in part by being able to finish without falling, as Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya both tumbled. Russia wrested the gold medal in women's team biathlon from Germany.
February 24 was the day of the men's curling finals, in which Canada won its first gold medal and the United States won its first medal in the sport as Canada defeated Finland and the United States beat Great Britain for the second time. The figure skating gala was also held, with top placers in all of the events performing exhibitions. Sweden and Finland won their men's ice hockey semifinal games, defeating the Czech Republic and Russia.
The Austrians swept the men's alpine slalom medals on February 25, led by Benjamin Raich. Germany took gold medals in the men's 15 kilometer biathlon and the men's individual bobsleigh. Apolo Anton Ohno won his second short track speed skating gold medal, with only somewhat less controversy than his first 4 years earlier. South Korea's Jin Sun-Yu wins her third gold of the Games in the women's 1000 m. Compatriot Ahn Hyun-Soo wins his third gold medal of the Games, medaling in every men's short track event and bringing his total number of medals in Turin to four.
Day 17 (Closing ceremony)
The final day of competition and the closing ceremony, were held on February 26. The Swedish men's ice hockey team handed Finland their first loss in the final to take the gold medal. In the closing ceremony, Manuela Di Centa, a seven-time Olympic medalist from Italy and then-member of the International Olympic Committee, was scheduled to present the medals for the men's 50-kilometre cross-country skiing event. This resulted in her presenting the gold medal to her own brother when Giorgio Di Centa won the event to take his second gold medal.
Olympic events were mainly held in Turin, but other events (namely skiing, snowboarding, and the track sports) were held in mountainous outlying villages for obvious reasons.
Many venues were located in the Olympic District in central Turin, including:
- Bardonecchia – Snowboarding
- Cesana Pariol – Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton
- Cesana San Sicario – Biathlon
- Pinerolo – Curling
- Pragelato – Nordic combined (ski jumping), Ski jumping
- Pragelato Plan – Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing)
- San Sicario Fraiteve – Alpine skiing (women's combined (downhill), downhill, and super-g)
- Sauze d'Oulx – Freestyle skiing
- Sestriere Borgata – Alpine skiing (men's combined (downhill), downhill, super-g)
- Sestriere Colle – Alpine skiing (combined (slalom), giant slalom, slalom)
Official Olympic training sites
Olympic mountain training site
Participating National Olympic Committees
A record 80 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) entered athletes at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. This was an increase of two from the 78 represented at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The number in parentheses indicates the number of participants that NOC contributed. It was the first appearance for Albania, Ethiopia and Madagascar. It was the only appearance at the Winter Olympics for Serbia and Montenegro, coming between their change of name in 2003 and Montenegro's vote for independence in May.
Out of 40,000 applicants, 20,000 volunteers were selected to help the athletes, spectators, and journalists, and to prepare the competition sites. They were selected by the recruiting program Noi2006.
Among the most important sporting facilities that were used:
- The Stadio Olimpico (Turin) (formerly known as Stadio Comunale);
- Five sports halls (three new, two rearranged): the Palazzo a Vela re-designed by Gae Aulenti (to host short track and ice skating), the Oval Lingotto (speed ice skating), Torino Esposizioni (ice hockey), the Ice stadium in corso Tazzoli, the Palasport Olimpico designed by Arata Isozaki (ice hockey);
- The Olympic arch of Turin;
- Olympic villages of Turin, Bardonecchia and Sestriere;
- The ice stadium in Pinerolo, re-arranged and enlarged, to host the curling competition;
- A new stadium in Torre Pellice (ice hockey);
- Twelve new intermediate-level ski lifts in Cesana Torinese, Cesana San Sicario, Sestriere, Bardonecchia, Claviere, Sauze d'Oulx, Pragelato;
- The tracks for bobsled, luge, and skeleton in Cesana (the second international track in Italy, along with the one in Cortina d'Ampezzo);
The most important transport infrastructure works were:
- The Turin Metro (VAL system), which for the Olympic games connected Collegno to the railway station of Porta Susa.
- The upgrade of 11 state roads and motorways connecting Turin with other Olympic sites, including the Motorway between Turin and Pinerolo, which was host to the Curling events.
In the city, the main developments were the Palafuksas, a glass building designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, the new Modern Art Gallery and the great project of the "Spina", that will provide urban regeneration over an area of 2 million square meters through the construction of an underground urban railway and the re-utilization of abandoned industrial areas.
|Sponsors of the 2006 Winter Olympics|
|Worldwide Olympic Partners|
The 2006 Winter Olympic Games were broadcast worldwide by a number of television broadcasters:
|People's Republic of China||CCTV|
|Serbia and Montenegro|
The Games had issues with costs covering and international attendance. Due to a lack of funding by the Italian Government, TOROC risked dissolution. American skier Bode Miller was also a focus of controversy in his home country and Canada, where his actions were not considered in line with the Olympic spirit.
The metro was finally opened to the public on February 4, 2006, after a 45-day delay. It operated on a shorter stretch (XVIII Dicembre (Porta Susa) to Fermi – 11 stations) than originally forecast; it finally reached the main railway station (Porta Nuova) and the rest of the city centre more than one year after the Games, in October 2007. For the duration of the Games, a single ticket (5 euros) covered use of both the metro and other means of public transportation for a whole day. However, during the Games, metro service stopped at 6:00 pm, making it impractical for spectators of evening events. Furthermore, the metro did not reach any of the Olympic venues. On the other hand, the bus service was heavily improved for the Games, although still inadequate at night hours.
During the games, Italian police raided the Austrian athletes' quarters in search of evidence of blood doping. The raid was conducted due to suspicions over the presence of biathlon coach Walter Mayer, who had been banned from all Olympic events up to and including the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010 due to previous doping convictions. Around the time of the raid Mayer and two Austrian biathletes, Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottmann, tried to escape and fled back to Austria. Later, the Austrian ski federation president said that the two athletes told him they "may have used illegal methods". Six skiers and four biathletes were also taken for drug screens by the IOC. Those substance screens later returned negative results.
On 25 April 2007, six Austrian athletes (Roland Diethard, Johannes Eder, Wolfgang Perner, Jürgen Pinter, Wolfgang Rottmann and Martin Tauber) were banned for life from the Olympics for their involvement in the doping scandal at the 2006 Turin Olympics, the first time the IOC punished athletes without a positive or missed doping test. The Austrians were found guilty of possessing doping substances and taking part in a conspiracy, based on materials seized by Italian police during the raid on the living quarters. The Austrians also had their competition results from Turin annulled.
List of athletes with doping convictions in these Games:
- Russian Olga Medvedtseva was stripped of her silver and other medals in the 15 km biathlon event after testing positive for carphedon.
- Brazilian bobsled athlete Armando dos Santos, ejected from the Games after a preventive antidoping test came positive (the results were from a test conducted in Brazil).
The IOC has retested nearly 500 doping samples that were collected at the 2006 Turin Games. In 2014, the Estonian Olympic Committee was notified by the IOC that a retested sample from cross-country skier Kristina Šmigun had tested positive. On 24 October 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency Athletes' Commission stated that Šmigun, who won two gold medals at the Turin Games, faces a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing before the end of October. If Šmigun were to be stripped of her gold medals, Kateřina Neumannová of Czech Republic could be elevated to gold in the 7.5 + 7.5 km double pursuit event. Marit Bjørgen of Norway could acquire a seventh gold medal in the 10 km classical event.
Ratings and attendance
A number of events reported low spectator attendance despite having acceptable ticket sales. Preliminary competition and locally less popular sports failed to attract capacity crowd as expected. Organizers explained this was because blocks of seats were reserved or purchased by sponsors and partners who later did not show up at the events.
Several news organizations reported that many Americans were not as interested in the Olympics as in years past. It has been suggested that reasons for this lack of interest include the tape delayed coverage, which showed events in prime-time as much as 18 hours later in the Western United States, and also due to the lack of success achieved by big-name American athletes. Primetime viewing figures in Canada were also disappointing, especially after the early exit of the Canadian men's hockey team, though overall viewing figures were up from 2002.
The Olympics represented an opportunity to revamp the city's look and change its traditional image as an industrial city by showing the world its hidden side of vibrant cultural life and stunning architectures. Thanks to the olympic exposure and state of the art venues, Turin has become one of Italy's primary tourist destinations and has been established as an important sport center in Europe.
Since 2006, TOP (Torino Olympic Park) has been the agency in charge of managing the Olympic facilities.
As with every Olympics since the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics and increasingly since the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there was heavy security due to fears of terrorism.
The organizers further increased security measures in connection with the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and insisted that the Olympic Games were going to be safe, which they were; the Olympics concluded without a major breach of security occurring.
- 2006 Winter Paralympics
- Olympic Games celebrated in Italy
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2006 Winter Olympics.|
- "Turin 2006". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.
- "Results and Medalists—2006 Winter Olympics". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.
- Official site
- City of Turin – English
- 2006 Winter Olympics at Curlie
- The program of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics
Salt Lake City
| Winter Olympics
XX Olympic Winter Games (2006)