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The Sweet Life in Italy
Olympic Villages designed to serve athletes' needs
By Alexandra Cale

Italian Cyclist Paolo Bettini carries the Olympic torch in Torino on December 15, 2005.
Sestriere in the Val di Susa is the competion site for alpine skiing, for the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
(Photo: Imago/Icon SMI)
Athletes competing in this winter's Olympic Games in Italy will have a chance to live la dolce vita—the sweet life! Thousands of athletes and staff will be housed in three Olympic Villages located in or near the city of Torino.

Olympic Villages are centers that provide athletes with housing and services during the Games. Torino has three villages—one in the city of Torino, and two others in the nearby towns of Sestriere and Bardonecchia. Where an athlete stays depends on which sport he or she is competing in. Ice-hockey players, figure skaters, and speed skaters will stay at the Torino site. Competitors in 12 sports, including freestyle skiing, bobsled, and skeleton, will be in Sestriere. Snowboarders will be in Bardonecchia.

Each of the three sites comes complete with everything an athlete should need, from a post office and bank, to shopping centers, restaurants, swimming pools, and even massage rooms! The villages were created to be self-contained so that no one needs to leave the village for anything but to compete! All services are available 24 hours a day.

The Torino site was also planned to be energy-efficient. This means that the Olympic Village will use a special energy-saving heating system designed to cut pollution.

Although the villages were designed especially for the Olympic athletes, they will still be used after the Games are over. The Torino and Bardonecchia sites will become the property of the city of Torino and be changed into housing and tourism services. The Sestriere site will return to its original function as a resort.


Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.