A record 1,037 media representatives arrived in Torino to cover the Games, and the host broadcaster, International Sports Broadcasting (ISB), provided more than 130 hours of live coverage
28 Feb 2022
The International Paralympic Committee flag and the Italian national flag fly side by side during the Opening Ceremony of the Turin 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.
ⒸLars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
World's best Winter Para athletes gathered in Turin, Italy for the ninth edition of the Paralympic Winter Games in 2006, with the Games' growth following the trajectory of the past.
The Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games were held from 10-19 March and involved 479 athletes (375 men and 99 women) from 39 countries across five sports. A total of 169,974 tickets were sold for Games events - Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling finals, as well as the Opening Ceremony, were sold out.
A record 1,037 media representatives arrived in Torino to cover the Games, and the host broadcaster, International Sports Broadcasting (ISB), provided more than 130 hours of live coverage.
The Torino 2006 were Games of many firsts. Wheelchair Curling was included in the programme for the first time. These were the first time that the Winter Paralympic Games were held in Italy. Torino were the first event at which the new Paralympic symbol, the ‘Three Agitos’, was used as the Games emblem. Two National Paralympic Committees (NPC) - Mexico and Mongolia - participated in the Paralympic Winter Games for the first time.
In a first, competitions were also held in three disciplines in Alpine and Nordic Skiing - sitting, standing and visually impaired. Also, it was the first time that two Paralympic Villages were used to house the participants of the Games.
The IPC launched its online TV channel, ParalympicSport.TV, at the Games. Nearly 40,000 unique viewers tuned into the channel from 105 nations. Most viewers hailed from the USA, Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan, and the channel drew a five percent increase in new viewers each day of the Games. ParalympicSport.TV allowed the first Internet television broadcast of the Paralympic Winter Games.
Competitions were held for 58 medals in five disciplines of four sports. As with other Paralympic Games, medals are awarded for each classification within each event. With wheelchair Curling making its Paralympic Games debut, competitions were held in Alpine Skiing (24 medals), Ice-Sledge Hockey (one medal), Biathlon (12 medals) and Cross-Country Skiing (20).
At the end of 10 days of competitions, Russia, for the first time, emerged at the top of the medal tally with 33 medals - 13 gold, 13 silver and seven bronze. Germany (8-5-5-18) finished second, Ukraine (7-9-9-25) were third with France (7-2-8 - 15) and the United States (7-2-3-12) completing the top-five places fourth and fifth, respectively. In all 19 countries got onto the medals table, sharing 174 medals.
Ukraine's Olena Iurkovska led the individual performances with four gold, a silver and a bronze medal. Iurkovska, who has a limb deficiency took up sitting volleyball at the age of 13 but moved to Para Skiing and Biathlon at age 16 in Kiev after. She won gold in women's 2.5 km sit-ski, in women's 5km sit-ski, women's 7.5 km sit-ski and 10km sit-ski event.
In the men's section, Germany's Gerd Schoenfelder won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in Alpine Skiing. But more importantly, he became the first athlete to win 17 medals in Alpine Skiing. Russia dominated the Biathlon event, winning six gold, four silver and two bronze medals. Canada defeated Norway in the final to win the Ice-Sledge Hockey gold medal.
Overall, Torino 2006 were quite successful, especially for Russia, Germany and Ukraine.