The Italian Almanac

olympic torch

Italian News - February 11

Turin has struggled with budget, housing and transportation problems but is on schedule for the 2006 Olympics. A series of test events at Olympic venues in Turin and the surrounding Alps have gone smoothly.

"We are now entering the last stretch," International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said. "The last days always require an acceleration, but we have full confidence in the organizers."

Officials turned on the official countdown clock, which ticks down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Opening Ceremony a year from now. The event was attended by a dozen former winter Olympic medalists, including American speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen and British ice dancers Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean.