TORINO 2006: The Paralympic Flame Is Lit In Rome

March 8, 2006

From the lighting in Rome, the flame was transmitted by satellite to Turin, where the Mayor of Turin, Sergio Chiamparino, received it at the Piazza della Repubblica. From there, the flame was carried along the Via Milano to the Town Hall by the first four torchbearers. The flame will burn at the Town Hall – except for two days on Monte Rosa – until 8 March, when it will begin its journey through the city.

The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the 1988 Seoul Summer Games and the 1992 Albertville Winter Games, they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympic Games. On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) aiming to secure the organisation of the Paralympic Games. The agreement reaffirmed that the Paralympic Games, from 2008 on, will always take place shortly after the Olympic Games, using the same sporting venues and facilities.

The Italian city of Turin will host the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games from 10-19 March 2006. Approximately 535 athletes from about 39 countries are expected to participate in these Games. A new sport will be making its debut in Turin: wheelchair curling, bringing the total number of sports to be contested to four: Alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey, Nordic skiing and wheelchair curling.

The Paralympic Games are elite sport events for athletes from different disability groups. They clearly emphasise, however, the participants’ athletic achievements, not their disability.

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