The stage was set for the XX Olympic Winter Games in 2006
when the Ikonos satellite captured this image of Pragelato, Italy, on
January 10, 2006. Located in the Alps about 120 kilometers from Torino,
Pragelato was the site of Nordic skiing events: the ski jump, cross-country
skiing, and the Nordic combined. The two Olympic jumps shown in the center of this image
are the Large Hill at 120 meters in height and the Normal Hill at 90 meters
in height. The narrow jumps widen into v-shaped landing areas. Three small training jumps sit to the right of the competition
jumps. The cross-country skiing track is visible in the large image to the
left of the jumps.
In addition to being used for the ski jumping competition, the jumps form
the first stage of the Nordic
combined event. The three Nordic combined events—individual
Gunderson, individual sprint, and team—require athletes to complete a
ski jump, then race to the finish line over a cross-country ski course. The
start time on the cross-country race is determined by how well the athletes
perform their jumps, with the best starting first. The individual Gunderson
(held on February 11) sends competitors off the 90-meter jump twice for a
combined score, followed by a cross-country race of 15 kilometers. In the
sprint (February 21), athletes jump off the Large Hill and race through a
7.5-kilometer cross-country course. In the team event (February 15-16), the
jump is followed by a “4 by 5-kilometer” relay (4 team members
each race 5 kilometers).
The city of Torino (known in English as Turin), Italy, nestles in the country’s Piedmont region, at the foothills of the western end of the Alps. In 2006, the city played host to the XX Winter Olympics, and the snow-capped peaks west of the city became venues for events from skiing to snowboarding to bobsledding.
Located in the Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) region of northwestern Italy, the city of Turin (Torino) is an important industrial and cultural center, and it hosted the Twentieth Olympic Winter Games. The city is located on the northern banks of the famous Po River. Two of the Po’s major tributaries are visible in this image, Stura di Lanzo and the Malone River.