In 2006 the Olympic Winter Games returned to Italy, 50 years after Cortina D' Ampezzo. Torino and the surrounding mountain resorts of Sestriere and Bardonecchia hosted a remarkable Games.
Both ceremonies were captivating and the medal plaza and piazzas throughout the city were full of colour and excitement.
Cross country skier Stefania Belmondo lit the flame and alpine hero Giorgio Rocca gave the Athletes' Oath.
There were many records at the Games. The 2,508 athletes from 80 nations was the most ever, as was the number of events, 84. The fact that 26 countries took home medals was also a first.
Germany topped the medal tally with 11 gold, 12 silver and six bronze. Norway dropped from the top nation in 2002 to win just 2 gold and be 13th.
The Austrian team attracted plenty of attention. Ten of their cross country and biathlon athletes were tested in swooping drug raids with some athletes and a previously banned coach fleeing Italy. All tests came back negative. Positively though their athletes dominated alpine skiing, gaining 14 of the 30 medals awarded.
South Korea displayed success in short-track speed skating, gaining 10 medals of the 24 awarded. In the women’s, Sun-Yu Jin earned three gold medals, and in the men's, Hyun-Soo Ahn won three golds and one bronze. Another triple-gold winner was Germany's Michael Greis in biathlon.
Cindy Klassen earned medals in five of the six women’s speed skating events. Another speed skater, Claudia Peschstein, won a gold and a silver to become the first athlete in her sport to earn nine career medals. American Shani Davis became the first African American athlete to win an individual winter gold medal when he won the 1,000m speed skating.
With his victory in the Super G, Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt became the first alpine skier to earn four medals in the same event and the first to win four gold medals in total.
At the age of 39, skeleton specialist Duff Gibson became the oldest athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games to win a gold medal in an individual event. German bobsledder Andre Lange drove to victory in the two-man bobsleigh and then defended his Olympic championship in the four-man event.