From day 11 to Closing Ceremony (February 21 to 26)
Day 11, February 21 - 2006Departure early from Gemma and Claude house to join my apartment. With Philippe, we leave for Casa Italia where we must attend a press conference organized by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport. Former athletes are present: Livio Berutti gold medalist in 200m at Rome in 1960, Nino Defilippis old cyclist racing, Italo Zilioli old cyclist racing, Maurizio Damilano gold medalist in 20 kms walk at Moscow in 1980, bronze medalist at Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988, Piero Gros gold medalist in slalom at Innsbruck in 1976 and Stephania Belmondo (cross country) gold medalist at Albertville in 1992 and Salt Lake City in 2002, silver medalist at Albertville in 1992, Nagano in 1998, and Salt Lake City in 2002, bronze medalist at Albertville in 1992, Lillehammer in 1994, Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002.After the press conference, a dresser is offered by Tuttosport in Casa Italia. Return to Torino Piemonte Media Center, I find Marc. We exchange our last information. Tomorrow, in forecast, meets with Olympic champions in the Visa center, I will be able to register and obtain a new accreditation!
Day 12, February 22 - 2006Departure at 10.30am, exceptionnally, I decide to go by car. The time to join the place where I must go is not better because I have some problems to find to park! I go to the Olympian Visa center where takes place a press conference in the presence of 2 former Olympic champions, Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie with 12 Olympic medals including 8 in gold and 4 in silver and the Austrian Franz Klammer gold medalist at Innsbruck 1976 and 2 gold medalists in luge at Torino, the brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger.
The Linger brothers have their gold medal with them, superb! Visa offers a lunch to us at the end of this meeting. Bob Farley, a philatelist and postcards collector, helps me in my pictures. We leave then together to research the house Korea, not many information except a file on Pyeongchang, city applicant for the organization of the Winter Games in 2014. Then we go to Holland house, in the South of Torino. Nice organization, very big, with a skating ring for its supporters, a model! We set out again then towards Sassonia house, another german house. I bring back Bob to his car left the morning close of Casa Italia.
Day 13, February 23 - 2006The routine today, visit to the Torino Media Center to consult my mails, passage by Omega to recover pins, then direction village of the sponsors. A small turn of the sponsors to try to recover some gadgets, passage by Press Lounge of Coca Cola, then by Coca-Cola trading center where I find some known or unknown collectors, among them of French. At the end of the evening, a French old women, in Albertville volunteers uniform, come with us. We discuss a little. She tell me that registered like volunteer from 2 years at Torino,she has not been found on the lists. Since, having paid her lodging, she walk in Torino. She already took part like volunteer in various Mediterranean Games and in 2004 in Athens. An American collector shows me the participant medal of Torino Games, it is very small, its presentation makes think of CD!
I set out again while passing by the Media Center before regaining the apartment.
Day 14, February 24 - 2006Magic day today, I go to the Olympic village for the first time since I go to the Games, thanks to Claude who obtained for me a daily pass from NOC France. I leave early, because it's a big day. In spite of my fears and the presentation of my out-of-date passport (I made send it for the circumstance), all occurs without problem, and I can finally penetrate in the village. A little lost, not knowing where to go in spite of the plan that I have in the hands, I try to direct me. I find the centre shopping located in the international zone. A real small village with its post office, its florist, its hairdresser, its travel agency, its bank, its very small supermarket, its Olympic store (almost empty at the end of the Games!), its information and found objects, its Internet space, its billetery, its cafeteria and maybe others. In the corridors, medals of former mainly Italian Olympic champions are exposed, such as Alberto Tomba, Piero Gros, Stefania Belmondo, Deborah Compagnoni, etc.
I must leave quickly because I must attend the competition of bobsleigh at the end of the afternoon. While leaving I make a turning by the building where is located the Olympic museum and I meet there the director and his assistant who are present. I have confirmation which Lausanne Olympic fair will be in June at Pentecost. I move in another building, where is the restaurant of the volunteers and which carries out to the athlets buildings with the infrastructures which are reserved to them. In the entry I find well-known American collectors which established their seat on this strategic passage of the athletes and the delegations. I settle with them to make some exchanges. In this end of Games, there is no so many pins in circulation.
A little later, I see Claude and Gemma which comes to my meeting, we go lunch together in the volunteers restaurant. Then I can go with them to the France building, decorated by a flag to its colors. On the first floor logistics is, while higher the rooms of the athletes are located. I leave the village and join the station where I find Philippe. We go together to the bobsleigh. After 2h30 by train and buses we arrive on the venue. I must find Edouard who holds my ticket of entry. All is right. We move towards the arrival to be able to make some pictures. It snows, fortunately the lighting of the track is powerful. All the 1st sleeve, we pass it to the arrival, then with the interlude, we decide to go at the beginning, the only places interesting for really appreciating the spectacle.
The rise is long and tiring, but we are there to attend the 2nd descent of French team. We manage to slip to us on the platform, even if our tickets does not give us access to it. As soon as French starts their last course of the day, we start to go down, Edouard having to set out again the evening on Marseille. As it is not too late, I propose to Philippe to go last once in Sestriere. It always snows, and in the night, the mountain appears fantomatic. There is wind in Sestriere and the way appears long to the Club France where we end up arriving. We eat before taking again the way of the return without to have seen L. Arrived to 2am to Torino, the buses are rare and we must finish our way with foot under the rain which did not stop.
Day 15, February 25 - 2006Day of rest! I go to Vancouver House. A tail going on 100 m is already in place. I must do it! My turn arrives, unfortunately the shop is closed, completely devalized. I go to the Center Media just opposite. I find Marc there. I make the update of the site. I set out again at the end of the afternoon because we have appointment to eat a pizza pie with our Italian friends, Gemma and Claude. Then, like previous saturdays, it is the Olympic night, with many museums open to the public and free, as well as cultural exposures and free concerts a little everywhere in the city.
We join the owner of the apartment which we rent, coming from France for a few days of holidays. A great part of his family accompanies it. Many people in the street.
Day 16 Closing Ceremony, February 26 - 2006In hunting to recover the last gadgets, tomorrow, it will be too late. The Olympic store were emptied in the last days. We arrive in front of the Visa shop which had announced to distribute its last gadgets. There is already many people. The door opens, but badly organized, the members of staff, overflowed by the people, after having given somepackets, close again the door and give up the distribution!
After a stop at Omega to take a pin, we go in an other Visa shop and recover some postcards there. After, we go to the sponsors village, we make the last turn of thesponsors and collect what that can still be it. We go to the building of TOROC. Unfortunately, it is Sunday and there is not many people. We obtain some information. It is time to start to prepare the luggage for the return. Philippe must go to Closing ceremony. Here, it is finished, go in Beijing in 2008 for the summer Games! Just a thing, I seek a lodging, think to me!!
Previous: Olympic trips, Torino 2006, part 2, day 5 to day 10 / To be continued: Olympic trips, Beijing 2008, part 1, from opening ceremony to day 4