AS ALL EYES TURN TO ITALY, TURIN 2006 TO BUILD ON PROGRESS AND WIDEN SUPPORT
During three days of meetings and venue tours, the 7th Coordination Commission visit to Turin allowed International Olympic Committee (IOC) members, experts and staff to carefully examine progress made by the Organising Committee for the Turin 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOROC) and by public authorities.
“Fewer than 20 months remain before the Olympic Games, the world’s best-known celebration of sport, return to Italy for the first time in nearly fifty years. As this summer draws to a close, the world will turn its attention from Greece’s work on Athens 2004 to Italy’s work on Turin 2006,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy. “It is time now for Italy’s people, businesses and government to rise to the challenge of hosting the Games, under the spotlight of the world’s attention.”
During mountain and city tours, the IOC Coordination Commission observed progress on venues and infrastructure made during the past five months. Most construction is progressing well, but needs to be accelerated for some key sites that have experienced delays or indecision. “It was a real pleasure to see the impressive design and execution of the ski jump site, which will start serving athletes in only a few months,” said Killy. “Other sites, such as the bob track, give us cause for concern.”
IOC Coordination Commission meetings on the needs of the International Federations, the media, the National Olympic Committees and sponsors addressed a wide range of issues, including transport and accommodation: “The shortfall of accommodation is one area we are working on in particular,” said Killy. “The IOC will be working with TOROC, to help find a solution before the end of the July, to accommodate all those who will be coming to Italy for the Games.”
TOROC presented impressive plans for the Look of the Games, the mascot and Olympic torch, drawing on the creative and engineering talent long-associated with Turin and Italy. “The graphical elements which will characterise Turin 2006 are inspirational, and just the sort of work the IOC is confident Italy can produce. Building the best stage for the world’s top winter sports athletes requires providing much more than just physical facilities and the connections between them. It requires passion and commitment, imagination and teamwork, ” said Killy.
“It has been a pleasure to work with our friends from the IOC during the past few days and we have appreciated the positive nature of the discussions,” said TOROC President Valentino Castellani. “We know that in a few months, the attention of the world will switch to Turin and Italy: this awareness reinforces our commitment to producing great Italian Olympic Games and providing the best conditions for all those taking part.”
In the coming months, working groups of the Coordination Commission will continue to meet regularly with their TOROC counterparts, public authorities and businesses. The entire Commission will officially reconvene in Turin in November.