San Sicario super G course will not be moved for 2006 OlympicsTweet
San Sicario super G course will not be moved for 2006 OlympicsTURIN, Italy — The venue for the women’s super giant slalom at next year’s Olympics will not be changed despite complaints from skiers that the course is too easy.
Skiers who competed in a World Cup race on the San Sicario course this winter said the layout was too flat. German skier Hilde Gerg led a petition to move the race to nearby Sestriere, where men’s races will be held.
But Turin organizers, the International Olympic Committee and international ski federation officials decided Thursday no move was needed.
“I never saw it as a problem,” said Jean-Claude Killy, the former Olympic ski champion who heads the IOC commission for the Turin Games. “There will be some modifications made to make it more challenging. The question was, ‘Will the best skier win?’ and I think so, the best skier will win. It’s not a problem anymore.”
Killy’s group was concluding a visit to Turin that featured a tour of each venue over three days. The next and final visit is scheduled for November. Killy gave Turin high marks in nearly every area, including construction, budget and accommodations.
“We are very confident everything will be done on time, and in time for the last test events in November,” Killy said. “I’ve said for many years I was confident these games will be a magnificent success and today it is a reality. These games are going to be tremendous.”
The Turin organizing committee’s budget shortfall was “90 percent” resolved, Killy said. Organizers are scheduled to meet Friday with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who is expected to guarantee $159.11 million to cover the $195.82 million deficit.
More than 50 percent of tickets already have been sold and 14,000 volunteers have been trained.
“There are some very encouraging figures and there is still a long road ahead,” Killy said.
There are still concerns, however.
The main construction worries regard the speedskating oval, the main hockey arena, the bobsled track and two of the three Olympic villages, in Turin and Sestriere.
The Turin village is expected to be finished by October, and the Sestriere village should be done by November. A third athletes’ village in Bardonecchia already has been completed.
There are concerns over stalled work at Turin’s airport, where the arrival area is undergoing a major renovation. Passengers currently enter through a tiny passageway wide enough to accommodate one person at a time.
TOROC chairman Valentino Castellani also said the committee has a backup plan in case an Alpine tunnel linking France to the Olympic region remained closed. The Frejus tunnel was shut after a weekend fire killed two truck drivers. Castellani said a rail link between France and Italy could be used in case the tunnel does not open in time for the games.
“It doesn’t seem likely we will have to resort to this plan, but we are ready just in case,” he said.
There is optimism the government will adopt new anti-doping legislation that falls in line with IOC regulations
One issue organizers probably won’t avoid during the games are worker and transit strikes, a common occurrence in Italy.
“It will happen, it always happens and we will deal with it,” Killy said.