TORINO 2006: The Sporting Legacy
This evening, the XX Olympic Winter Games – Torino 2006 will come to a close and the Olympic cauldron will be extinguished in the Olympic Stadium. After 16 days of exciting competition and many emotional moments, the Turin Olympic experience will come to an end and the athletes will head home. However, this does not mean that the Olympic Games will not continue to influence the daily lives of the people of Turin and the Piedmont region. Torino 2006 will leave an exciting legacy to the local population, not just through memories of sporting achievement, but also through sports facilities and knowledge.
One Of The Priorities
Speaking about the legacy that the Games will leave to Turin, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “It is going to leave a fantastic legacy for Turin, for the region and for Italy as a whole. Having a good legacy for the organising city is one of the priorities for the International Olympic Committee and I believe that our Italian friends have done really a great job and that they will be really pleased with the legacy that they have.”
The legacy of a Games has many facets and includes the physical venues that have been used during the Games as well as the organisational knowledge that has been picked up by local people as they worked to put on the greatest show on earth. With this in mind, the Piedmont Region, TOROC and Sviluppo Italia are developing a project for the management of this post-Games legacy. The project is called Parco Olimpico and it will be managed by a company that will inherit some of the human capital of the Games, in terms of knowledge, skills and people.
Many of the competition and training venues for Torino 2006 will be used after the Games to provide a magnificent sporting legacy to Turin and the Piedmont region. The venues will allow the population of this area of Italy to participate in all of the ice sports, like hockey, curling and ice skating; in all of the snow sports, such as skiing and biathlon; and in the sliding sports of bobsleigh and luge. Many of the venues have also been designed with multiple uses in mind and they can be used as exhibition halls, for concerts and as local community structures in addition to sport.
Renovated Stadiums and Temporary Structures
Among the venues that have been renovated or are being used as temporary structures, are the Turin Olympic Stadium, the Palavela, the Cesana San Sicario biathlon structure and the Torino Esposizioni. The latter venue is only a temporary structure and will revert to being an exhibition hall after the Games. The other three sites have all been renovated and after the Games will be used as a football stadium, a sports and multi-functional facility and a tourist structure respectively.
The Olympic Villages of Turin, Sestriere and Bardonecchia for the athletes and the seven media villages are a mixture of renovated buildings and new structures that have been built especially for the Games. The post-Games usage of these venues mainly falls under the heading of accommodation with some of the villages being used for housing, as hotels, as military barracks, as accommodation at an International Labour Organisation (ILO) training centre or as university campus accommodation. However, some of the villages will also find non-residential use, as they have structures capable of satisfying the needs of local public services and for research and high-tech services purposes.
The Olympic Winter Games ran from 10 to 26 February 2006 in Turin. The Winter Games comprised seven different sports and 15 different disciplines, which were played out in eight different competition sites. Around 2,500 athletes, 650 judges and umpires and one million spectators participated in this 20th edition of the Winter Games.