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So it's nearly 8 years since Torino, and I was doing a little thinking and a little reading about it today.

What struck me most was this feeling - which I shall try to put into words - of a massively lost opportunity. Here are my thoughts:

- A generally apathetic feeling in the city while I was there, perhaps that word is too strong, but it didn't feel like the city was proud to be hosting the Olympic Games

- venues which were not thought through. Yes in Beijing and sochi we will have some white elephants - but these countries have a whole different political system and reason d'être for hosting the games. In torino the ski jump is close to closing for good (I believe it did close for a couple of seasons), the 100 million euro bobsleigh has been permanently closed! I couldn't believe this when I read it but they've removed the ammonia refrigeration system and there is no money to maintain the running of it. I know other bobsleigh tracks struggle for regular use but it seems unique that such a brand new and expensive facility has just closed doors only 7 years after opening.

- forgettable opening? Yes we all loved Pavarotti, but as many have articulated in the sochi ceremonies thread, the ceremony for many was confused, jumbled, at times random and with a bizarre firework lighting moment.

- Attendance was poor. Lots of empty seating in a similar vein to athens two years earlier.

- Did Italy miss its olympic chance? You don't get to host the Olympics that often. Romes bid for 2004 could have been very special. I can't help but wonder whether a future Rome bid may suffer because Italy have hosted a games fairly recently - and it wasn't that successful.

I just think in comparison to the magic of Lillehammer, the American charm of salt lake and the passion of vancouver it's a games that is easily overlooked, and its such a shame given the sporting prowess of Italy at the Olympic Games.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a torino bashing thread. I loved the look and design, Pavarotti at the opening was great, some of the sport was fantastic. It just feels like there's more it could have or should have been... Would be interested to hear other people's memories or thoughts on these games.

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I have a colleague from Torino and I discussed a bit with him in autumn prior to the Munich referendum whether it was worth it.

He was quite sceptical overall, especially given the little to no use of many facilities. He also mentioned that it did bring Torino into the international spotlight, people from abroad began to realise it may be worth a visit, not just overlooked anymore because of all the other famous Italian cities.

Personally, I don't have many memories, apart maybe from Germany winning both the first two events. I have much more memories of Lillehammer 12 years earlier, for example.

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I loved the 2006 Games from a competitive and aesthetic standpoint. But there are things you raise that I agree with.

The problem with a Winter Games in Italy is that, outside of the mountainous north, the vast majority of Italians do not relate with winter sports and we all know an Olympic Games is far more meaningful when the whole nation gets behind it. That is why I do not think the once-proposed Barcelona-hosted owg would have turned out well because even fewer people in Spain relate to winter sports.

The venues being so far-flung didn't help, this was a mini-Albertville where every town wanted a piece of the action. Perhaps the ski jumps and bob run would have been more successful if they were combined in a park type setting like Calgary.

The ceremony was fine by my standards which, admittedly, are far lower than most people here. People like to argue that the real flame didn't touch the cauldron but to me the connection between the Winter Games and ancient Olympia is weak at best, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. And my love of disco has been stated numerous times.

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I have a colleague from Torino and I discussed a bit with him in autumn prior to the Munich referendum whether it was worth it.

He was quite sceptical overall, especially given the little to no use of many facilities. He also mentioned that it did bring Torino into the international spotlight, people from abroad began to realise it may be worth a visit, not just overlooked anymore because of all the other famous Italian cities.

Personally, I don't have many memories, apart maybe from Germany winning both the first two events. I have much more memories of Lillehammer 12 years earlier, for example.

I guess I did visit Torino in 2011, and certainly wouldn't have contemplated going there if not for the Olympics.

Loved the place, a really charismatic city I thought.

Despite the distinct lack of Olympic landmarks for such a recent host, I'd certainly go back again next time.

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Perhaps they should have gone with their bid plan of using Stadio Delle Alpi.

Perhaps such a venue, with improved sightlines, a larger video screen, reconfigured seating and a capacity of over 70,000, would have really invigorated the city. Especially if like close to 70-80% of the seats were taken by locals and Italians. It would have ensured the venue remained as well.

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Perhaps they should have gone with their bid plan of using Stadio Delle Alpi.

Perhaps such a venue, with improved sightlines, a larger video screen, reconfigured seating and a capacity of over 70,000, would have really invigorated the city. Especially if like close to 70-80% of the seats were taken by locals and Italians. It would have ensured the venue remained as well.

And how would that have solved the problems with the sliding track and the jumping hill?

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I meant the stadium itself, I never mentioned the sliding track or jumping hill. They would have obviously been a problem for a country that doesn't really need two of them and it was the mistake for Torino organizers and the city for not finding a legacy for them. They could have gone with a bigger scale games, but opted not to.

Edited by Lord David
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I meant the stadium itself, I never mentioned the sliding track or jumping hill. They would have obviously been a problem for a country that doesn't really need two of them and it was the mistake for Torino organizers and the city for not finding a legacy for them. They could have gone with a bigger scale games, but opted not to.

Stadio Delle Alpi would of required quite a big renovation, plus Juventus were planning at the time to demolish the Stadium to make way for the Juventus Stadium.

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I agree that in hindsight, the Torino Games appear very stale - and already back then, there were a lot of complaints (I believe, also in some way by me) that Torino and especially the whole of Italy doesn't live up to its Olympic slogan "Passion lives here". OK, they had a savvy winter sports audience at many venues, but as 4gamesandcounting pointed out, they had too little of it and instead too much of a rather indifferent national population to create highly atmospheric and passionate Games.

That said, I get a feeling that we could experience pretty much of the same in Sochi. It seems as if great Olympic Winter Games are always followed by weaker Games in recent history: The great and joyful Calgary Games were followed by the quirky, spread-out and also a bit stale Albertville Games. They were followed by the fantastic Lillehammer Games and those were followed by the Nagano Games which were characterised by rather stiff and demure Japanese audiences. Then followed Salt Lake with (especially regarding the difficult situation after 9/11) very jolly and welcoming Games. They were followed by stale Torino who were followed by the great, warm and enthusiastic Canadian hosts in Vancouver. And now Sochi with those soon-to-be white elephants, that immense paycheck, low ticket sales (so far) and the atmosphere (at least in the lead-up to the Games) spoiled by the threat or terrorist attacks and by the homophobic Russian laws.

That said, Pyeongchang 2018 could surprisingly become great atmospheric Games - for a change, after Sochi. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just came upon this thread. First the Beijing thread, now this... Is every past OGs getting a once over? Newbies, Hindsight is always 20/20...

Are we really that desperate for new subjects? Those were colorful Games; Tomba's Games; the Ferrari and the Renaissance Games!!

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