- 23 Feb 2006
Olympic Solidarity Special Programme for Torino 2006
For the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Olympic Solidarity has financed preparation activities organised for National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participating in the Games. This programme offered NOCs the chance to supplement and optimise their preparation programmes.
Only NOCs that took part in the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games can submit a proposal for assistance within the context of this programme. The athletes concerned must have taken part in international level competitions recognised by the International Winter Sports Federations during the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 winter seasons.
For the Turin Games, 70 NOCs have taken advantage of this programme: 44 in Europe, 11 in Asia, 7 in America, 6 in Africa and 2 in Oceania. The programme offered was very flexible as it allowed NOCs to apply the funds according to their own priorities. The maximum budget per NOC was US$ 35’000.-.
The financial assistance offered is closely linked to athlete preparation and training. The funds allocated to NOCs may therefore be used to cover costs relating to training and coaching for athletes and/or teams preparing for the Games; participation in Olympic qualification competitions or other international competitions where this is not already covered by the International Federation concerned; subsidiary activities linked to the preparation of athletes; or purchase of specialised winter sports equipment.
Estonia as example
The double gold medalist in Cross Country Skiing from Estonia, Kristina Smigun, is a former Olympic Scholarship holder (1995 and 1996 – Youth programme) and has benefited repeatedly from the Olympic Solidarity’s programmes to prepare athletes for the Olympic Winter Games.
In particular for Turin, the NOC of Estonia organised, in collaboration with the Olympic Solidarity the following activities in which Smigun and Andrus Veerpalu (gold medalist in Cross Country Skiing), took part: Cross Country Skiing training camp in Ramsau, Austria (September and October 2005). Martti Raju, NOC of Estonia confirms that “both athletes have a high level of awareness of the assistance that they have received from the NOC and Olympic Solidarity in the past”.