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The 50th Anniversary of the 7th Winter Olympics held Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956 - 2006

Cortina Olympics 195650th Anniversary starts 26 January 2006

Fifty years ago on January 26 1956, the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy played host to the 7th modern Winter Olympic Games - the Cortina Olympics. The 50th anniversary of the Games coincides with their return to Italy, with Torino staging the 2006 Winter Olympics from February 10 - 26th, 2006.

As one of the most exclusive and beautiful Alpine resort destinations, Cortina was a natural choice to showcase its magnificent vistas in the limelight of the Olympic Games, as it was widely known for its luxury hotels and shopping, as well as incredible skiing.

Cortina will celebrate its triumphal Games with a host of special events and ceremonies, beginning with the Olympic flame itself.

After having left Rome on December 9, 2005 the Olympic torch will have traversed all the regions of Italy, covering over 11,000 Km, before passing through Cortina on January 26, 2006 in honour of its historic anniversary.

1956 Cortina OlympicsThe torch will visit the sites of the ’56 Cortina Olympics, before arriving at the Stadio del Ghiaccio, where in the presence of dignitaries and Olympic Champions both past and present, a grand ceremony will pay tribute to Cortina’s Olympic success.

There will be a recreation of the original 1956 Olympic cauldron and tripod which will be lit by the Olympic torch. The evening will include a dazzling show on ice and a spectacular fireworks display.

A Giant Slalom race for Olympic Champions is planned, as is an Olympic Classic Grand Gala, titled ‘Cortina 1956 – Torino 2006.’

The Cortina Olympics will be showcased throughout the month of January 2006 as the local Cinema Eden theatre will feature a different sports related film each night, while the main roadway, the Corso Italia, will employ four massive video screens that will continually project pictures and images from the ’56 Cortina Olympics.

A vintage car pageant is scheduled, with 15 of the most beautiful Classic cars from the 1950’s to be seen cruising through the streets of Cortina.A photographer at the 1956 Cortina Olympics

Special Cortina Olympic awards will be presented to celebrated Winter Olympic Champions at a sumptuous Olympic week gala dinner, which will honour their exploits.

The old municipal building on the Corso Italia will host an exhibition of memorabilia of the Cortina Olympic Games that will include images, objects and photographs that capture the essence of that magical time in Italian sporting history.

The Cortina Olympics saw a number of historic firsts.

The first ever woman to read the Athletes’ Oath, Giuliana Minuzzo of Italy and for the first time Italian television (RAI) covered the Cortina Olympics live. It was also the first appearance by representatives of the Soviet Union, whose impact was immediate; the Russians won 7 of the 24 events, including victories in Ice Hockey and Speed Skating.

Both East and West German athletes competed together under a unified flag, which they would continue to do until the Munich Games in 1972, in which East and West German athletes competed separately.

The Cortina Olympics were originally scheduled to take place in 1944 but World War 2 made that impossible. 12 years later, Cortina was finally ready for the world.

The tributes and ceremonies honouring the Torino Olympics are sure to evoke the thrilling atmosphere of that historic time.

Medal Winners at the 1956 Cortina Winter Olympics

Cortina 1956 Winter Olympics - More Information Cortina 1956 Winter Olympics - Medal Tables
Cortina D'Ampezzo represents an ideal bridge between the 1956 Olympic host city and Torino.
A type of twinning between the two cities, waiting for the Olympic flame to passes by the "pearl" of the Dolomites, on Thursday 26th January 2006
Historical information and pictures of the 1956 Cortina Olympics

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