The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Winter Blues

There seem to be a number of glitches in the preparations for the forthcoming Winter Olympics, which start in Turin this Friday.

Transport seems to be an issue, last week two British Olympic staff were stuck in traffic for five hours between Turin and the mountain venue of Sestriere because of heavy snowfall and an accident on the road.

Organising committee chief, Cesare Vaciago, has indeed admitted that the biggest problem involves transportation.

Ensuring that Italian drivers respect the lanes reserved for Olympic vehicles and making sure bus drivers know their way around, will be a major headache.

Over 2,000 bus drivers have been drafted in from all around Italy, and many are not familiar with the local roads.

It also seems that there are issues with regard to the number of spectators, specifically there are not enough; 700,000 tickets, 85% of the available volume, have been sold. Therefore organisers have arranged to bus in coach loads of Italian schoolchildren, to boost crowds during the Games.

The Olympic torch relay has also encountered problems, it has been subject to various protests along the route.

On Sunday, it had to be diverted in a northern valley to avoid demonstrations opposed to a high-speed rail link.

Given the recent outbreak of flag burning, and threats to Europeans, by Muslim fanatics security is also an issue.

Special security measures, including the deployment of 15,000 police and military personnel, are in place to protect the Games as a whole. A meeting of law enforcement agencies was convened on Monday to discuss security concerns.

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