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  • Celebration-Free 100 Days For Turin Olympics


    The Palasport Olimpico complex includes a hockey venue and the Stadio Comunale, venue for opening and closing ceremonies. 
    (ATR) Budget pressures have forced Turin Olympic organizers to give up plans for a 100 days-to-go celebration. But the coming of the Games is absolutely certain in the rush and rumble of the last phases of construction in the city and at venues.

    One TOROC executive tells Around the Rings even a small event would have been an embarrassment for the organizing committee, which still needs upwards of 30 million euros to deliver on the Olympics and Paralympics. Negotiations continue with Rome over the money still needed by Olympic organizers.

    Test Events Unfazed By Tight Budget

    While the Turin Games have been caught in the middle as the national government tries to lop billions from the budget to comply with European Union deficit spending rules, Turin organizers have not faltered in their progress towards the Games. The final test events take place in the next 45 days.

    At the new Palasport Olimpico this weekend, men and women hockey teams begin tournament play while sledge hockey at the renovated Torino Esposizioni provides a Paralympic test. Tickets for all tournaments are a bargain: 6 euros for the public, 4 euros for those under 14 and over 60.

    The final arena test will come in December with a World Cup speed skating event at the oval in the Palasport complex.

    The bobsleigh and luge track in the mountains at Cesana gets its final tests beginning November 30 with a World Cup stop in the bobsleigh.

    Ceremonies Preparations Head Outdoors

    At Stadio Comunale, next door to the Palasport complex, the city of Turin says it has handed over the 35,000 seat arena to the production team for opening and closing ceremonies. Australian producer Ric Birch and
    Torino Esposizione is the second hockey venue for the 2006 Olympics. 
    Italy's Marco Balich, who are overseeing the production, had been hoping to begin their final preparations more than a month ago. The Feb. 10 show will last for two hours and include 6,000 performers. Closing ceremony is scheduled for February 26.

    New Web Site for Turin 2006

    As the Games get closer, TOROC has launched a new look for the website at, making it more tailored to the coming of the Games. For example, the sports calendar is one click away on the home page and there's easy to access tourist information about the Olympic city and details about how to get to sports venues.

    The website has been subject to a robust design. Up to 30 million visitors are expected to hit the site during the Games period.

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