February 3, 2006


This is the second time Italy has hosted the Winter Games– the first were the 1956 Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo.  Of course, Italy has hosted a Games of the Olympiad also – the 1960 Rome Games, best known by Americans for the outstanding performances of figures such as Wilma Rudolph and Muhammad Ali.  

Over the course of the 17 days of the Winter Games, seven sports (curling, skating, skiing, biathlon, bobsled, ice hockey, luge), with 15 disciplines (alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, figure skating, speed skating, short track skating, ice hockey, luge, skeleton, bobsled, snowboarding, biathlon, Nordic combined, and curling) will take place, for a total of 84 medal events.  There are 14 Olympic venues in the surrounding Torino area, the centerpiece being the Stadio Olimpico, located in the Santa Rita quarter of the city.  Built in 1933, the stadium was originally called Stadio Mussolini, and was used primarily as a soccer venue.  For the Winter Games, the stadium has been improved upon with the help of Japanese architect Arata Isozaka, with additional seats added to increase the capacity to 35,000, and space created to house the ever-important Olympic Cauldron.

But because it is still, at least in terms of the Olympic timetable, early, some things are still being built.  Medals Plaza, for example, which is located in the center of Piazza Castello, is going to be a main attraction of these Games, with the nightly award ceremonies followed by concerts by Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston, Andrea Bocelli, Ricky Martin, Avril Lavigne, Lou Reed, and others.  In the center of the piazza is the Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace, fronted by two statues of horses that represent the triangles of white and black magic.  Torino is the only city in the world that is the center point of both:  it is part of the Triangle of White Magic with Lyon and Prague, and the Triangle of Black Magic with London and San Francisco.  And regardless of whether or not you believe in such things, there will certainly be some Olympic magic coming just around the corner.

H A V E  A  Q U E S T I O N  F O R  D R .  B A S S
D U R I N G  T H E  W I N T E R  G A M E S ?

C L I C K  H E R E
We will be posting the questions and answers
on the CNR At The Winter Games website!
m o r e

Be sure to check back often for  Dr. Amy Bass's updates to her
Online CNR Winter Olympic Games Diary.

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