XX Torino Winter Olympics

14.02.2006 These are euphoric and exciting days for Fiat's home city of Turin, which has prepared for years to be ready for the XX Winter Olympic Games, and which now feels like it is the capital of the world for two weeks

The Olympics Games have hit Fiat's home city and it changes appearance. These are euphoric days for Torino, which has prepared for years to be in top shape for the event. Street construction, new plants, restyling of porticos and streets, but also pride and a pinch of complacency in feeling like the capital of the world for two weeks. And whilst on race tracks and in the ice buildings athletes try to reap the fruit of long training periods, the city is teeming with people. The main points of celebration being the streets and squares of the centre, from Piazza San Carlo to Piazza Castello, in Via Roma and along Via Po. 
Between a chocolate purchased from an artisan’s shop and a glimpse many shop windows, Turinese and tourists alike are living in an international climate of celebration, without renouncing to the afternoon NBC connection, which set up its headquarters in Piazza San Carlo. The VIP hunt becomes a must, such as a dash to the museums and the exhibitions in the city centre. Cultural offerings include the shows "Leonardo" a the Biblioteca Reale, "Heroes and Athletes" at the Museo di Antichità, "The three lives of the Artemidoro Papyrus" in Palazzo Bricherasio, "Metropolis" at the Modern Art Gallery (GAM), "From Poussin to Canaletto" at the Pinacoteca Agnelli, but also the theatre shows on at the Teatro Regio with the "Bohème" and shows directed by Luca Ronconi for the “Domani” project.

Italy's most famous technological and sporting brand name - Ferrari - took to the centre stage during the Torino 2006 opening ceremony which was held in the Olympic Stadium in the city last Friday.


The City of Turin is teeming with people this week. The main points of celebration being the streets and squares of the centre, from Piazza San Carlo to Piazza Castello, in Via Roma and along Via Po (above).

But for those who love sport, the events which can't be missed are the prize-giving ceremonies held every evening in Medal Plaza. Olympic emotions for the eight thousand lucky ones with passes, and the further thousands crowding the nearby streets to peek from afar and enjoy the spectacle from the maxi screen of Piazza San Carlo. Passion lives here, says the Games slogan.

The Fiat Group is a Major Sponsor of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, having linked its name with the XX Olympic Winter Games since Turin put forward its candidacy, thanks above all to the personal commitment and international persuasion of Giovanni Agnelli, who was then Chairman of the Torino 2006 Honour Committee. Fiat decided to contribute to the success of the event by offering the Committee financial resources, products, professional skills and organisational capacity, a pool of resources worth 40 million Euro on the market.

Fiat Auto’s commitment has taken two forms: the creation of an “Olympic” fleet of cars offered to the organisation, and the sponsorship of a number of Olympic events. Fiat Auto has also been recognised as a “Green Sponsor” of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, which entitles it to use the “Environment 2006” trademark, an important acknowledgement of the company’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. Fiat Auto has provided over 3,000 cars to transfer athletes, journalists and the staff of volunteers. The star is the brand new Fiat Sedici, 200 of which have been delivered, an original 4x4 off-road vehicle due to go on the market in March, that combines the enjoyable driving and handling of a compact Fiat with the “off-road” performance of a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV): this is why the Fiat Sedici is the official car of the Torino XX Olympic Winter Games.

The ceremony of the symbolic handing over of the keys to the fleet took place at the recent Bologna Motor Show, in the presence of Evelina Christillin, TOROC Deputy President, and the great ski champion Alberto Tomba, together with numerous journalists, local authorities and athletes. There are numerous other models in the Olympic fleet: from the Grande Punto to the Fiat Croma, Panda 4x4 and Fiat Idea, the Alfa 159 and Alfa Crosswagon, the Lancia Musa and the Lancia Phedra and Thesis flagships, and Ducato vans for goods transport. Safe driving courses have been organised for the 3,000 Torino 2006 volunteers, and Fiat Auto participated by supplying a number of Fiat Idea’s, Lancia Musa‘s and Alfa 147’s.

Fiat Auto has chosen to link its brands with a number of events, to reflect the “vocation” and character of the individual brands. Fiat sponsors the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation and the Fiat Freestyle Team, which brings together the strongest Italian snowboarders and freestyle skiers. Alfa Romeo supports the members of the Italian Alpine ski squad who make up its Ski Racing Team. Lancia is linked with figure skating, through “Lancia Ice” and the testimonial Carolina Kostner, flag-bearer of the Italian delegation. Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles sponsors the Italian men’s and women’s Ice hockey teams.

The Fiat Group is also an Official Partner of the IX Paralympic Winter Games. This is one way of underlining the Group’s social commitment to the disabled, particularly through Fiat Auto, which has launched important initiatives as part of the Autonomy Project which, since 1995, has been developing services and means of transport specifically for people with limited motor capabilities, to simplify the use of the car by the disabled.

Fiat Auto will is also present at Casa Italia which it sponsors and where a Fiat Sedici, an Alfa 159 and a Lancia Y Momo are on hand. Casa Italia has been erected in Turin’s Valentino Park: it provides the headquarters for the Italian Olympic Committee Coni and, for the period of the Olympic Winter Games, all Italian athletes who have won a medal will be housed there.
And finally, Fiat Auto was a corporate Sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay, the tour that set off from Rome on December 8, 2005, and reached Turin on Friday, the day of the inauguration of the XX Olympic Winter Games, having covering over 11,000 kilometres in little more than two months, and having visiting numerous Italian towns and cities, including Florence, Genoa, Palermo, Naples, Bologna and Cortina d'Ampezzo.


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More than two billion eyes across the world were focused on Turin last night, and as the opening ceremony extravaganza got underwaY in the home city of Fiat, fittingly the roar of a F1 Ferrari was heard in the packed stadium

Report: Fiat Auto & Torino 2006 / © 2006 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed