The 2006 Torino Winter Paralympic Games differed from previous winter Paralympics in two respects. Firstly, wheelchair curling was introduced for the first time alongside the longer-established sports of alpine skiing, biathlon, ice sledge hockey and cross-country skiing. Secondly, an overhaul of the competition structure for alpine skiing had occurred since the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. Whereas previously there were separate medal events for up to seven classes of standing skiers, and three classes of both sit-skiers and vision-impaired athletes, in Torino the event structure was collapsed to create a single medal event for each of the standing, sitting and vision-impaired groups of skiers. Athletes from every classification competed together in each of these three classes and their times were adjusted (through a standardising factor) across each classification. In essence, the number of medal events was drastically reduced in Torino. While there had been 92 medal events in three sports at the Salt Lake City Games, in Torino there were only 58 medal events (even though there was one more sport). Although Torino (Turin) was the host of the Games, the alpine skiing and cross-country events were held at Sestriere, also the location of the athletes’ Village, almost 100km from Torino.
At the Torino Games, television coverage was augmented by the IPC’s live internet television channel, ParalympicSport.TV, which telecast 150 hours of live coverage. This extended selected highlights to areas where media coverage had been, in previous Games, poor or non-existent, especially the USA.
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