Can Rocca Rev Up Torino? the 2006 Winter Olympics Are Right around the Corner but So Far, the Only Passion for the Games Is Coming from Protesters. Even Italy's New Hometown Hero Can't Spark Excitement the Way la Bomba Did

Newsweek International, February 6, 2006 | Go to article overview

Can Rocca Rev Up Torino? the 2006 Winter Olympics Are Right around the Corner but So Far, the Only Passion for the Games Is Coming from Protesters. Even Italy's New Hometown Hero Can't Spark Excitement the Way la Bomba Did


Byline: Barbie Nadeau

A new sport has taken hold in Italy ahead of the Winter Olympics, which are set to kick off in Torino on Feb. 10. Dubbed "block the torch" by locals, it pits Italy's ardent anarchists against Olympic organizers trying to generate excitement by relaying the Olympic torch across the country. So far Olympic spirit is losing. In late December, anarchists in Genoa actually blew out the flame for 20 minutes during a protest against Coca-Cola as an Olympic sponsor. On Jan. 17, environmental protesters in Venice nearly sunk the gondola carrying the eternal flame. And last week, for the 33rd time since it began winding its way to Torino from Rome on Dec. 8, the torch was not just blocked, but actually stolen in the northern town of Trento. Italian track star Eleanora Berlanda, whose turn it was to carry the torch, tussled with brutish protesters until she finally had to give up the burning bastion of Olympic spirit. "I tried to hold on to the torch but they were pulling on it, twisting my wrists," cried Berlanda after the incident. "They were very passionate about their cause."

Too bad they're the only ones. Almost all the attention leading up to the Winter Games has focused not on fierce competitions between world-class athletes like hometown ski hero Giorgio Rocca and American outlaw Bode Miller (box), but on security concerns and the Italians' predictable rush to finish up the venues on schedule. What's noticeably missing from this normally passionate country is any semblance of Olympic spirit. Admittedly, that will be easier to muster once the Olympic cauldron is finally lit. But with virtually no publicity, very few showy stars and a notable lack of fresh scandals, Torino's 2006 Winter Olympics could truly be remembered as the Forgotten Games.

No one is more disheartened by the lack of enthusiasm than Italy's Olympic hopefuls. "It's a pity that we aren't talking enough about the Olympics in Italy," laments champion Rocca, who is favored to win the gold in the slalom. "The people aren't even going to know the names of those they should support." As Italy's best chance for Olympic fame, Rocca is also the country's best hope for whipping up enthusiasm--especially after recent wins against both Miller and Austrian powerhouse Hermann Maier. But so far, Rocca's promise has done little to boost interest.

It's not for lack of trying. He is a veritable star, and at the nearly ancient age of 30, says he has finally found what he calls "the key to skiing without mistakes." He won his fifth straight World Cup title on Jan. 15, elevating him to the status of his predecessor and Italy's favorite Olympic son, Alberto Tomba, who holds the record at seven straight wins. But in modern Olympics, being a good athlete is not enough, and though handsome, Rocca, a former carabiniere officer, is not much of a showman--especially when compared with "La Bomba," whose antics were as much fun to watch off the slopes as on. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Can Rocca Rev Up Torino? the 2006 Winter Olympics Are Right around the Corner but So Far, the Only Passion for the Games Is Coming from Protesters. Even Italy's New Hometown Hero Can't Spark Excitement the Way la Bomba Did
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.