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Work completed on Olympic speed venue

Work completed on Olympic speed venue{mosimage}Landscape changes on the women’s speed skiing course for February’s Turin Olympics have been completed.

Skiers who competed in World Cup super-G and downhill races on the new San Sicario course last season complained the layout was too flat and easy.

Germany’s Hilde Gerg led a petition to move the super-G to nearby Sestriere, where men’s races will be held.

Turin organizers (TOROC), the International Olympic Committee and the International Ski Federation (FIS) responded by ordering alterations, which began in July.

Five jumps have been improved and a new curve running against the slope was added.

FIS women’s course and safety director Jan Tischauser visited the slope on Aug. 9 and gave his approval to the changes. On Aug. 24, FIS women’s director Atle Skaardal inspected the course and approved.

“We are proud that the changes to the course have already been completed,” TOROC deputy CEO Luciano Barra said Friday. “FIS experts have expressed satisfaction at the work carried out. This is a very important opinion because it means we can meet the competitors’ requirements.”

A cable car route linking San Sicario to Sestriere is scheduled to be completed in December, meaning athletes will be able to travel from the Olympic Village to the race course using only ski lifts.

An Olympic security command center will be set up in Turin during the Feb. 10-26 games.

The center will be located in the organizing committee (TOROC) headquarters on the north side of the city. The Olympic zone, containing the main Olympic Village, media center and most of the city venues, is located on Turin’s southern side.

The center will be split into three sectors: coordination, security forces, and organization of general services by local administrations and service companies.

“It’s a logistical necessity to being everything together at the same place,” said Turin police prefect Goffredo Sottile.

Sottile said officials are still working on finding accommodation for all the security personnel required.

Security is being arranged by the Italian government and local police, with international aid. Details such as the overall budget or number of people involved are not being disclosed.

-The Associated Press

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