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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 10:13 GMT
Ask Anna - Part Two
BBC Sport journalist Anna Thompson
Hi, I'm Anna Thompson and I will be reporting from the Winter Olympics for the BBC Sport website.

I'll be following the big stories at the Games and especially the British hopefuls in their various events.

But I also want to be your 'eyes and ears' in Italy.

And I will do my best to find answers to any questions you have, or even go and report on something particular if many of you want me to.

So if there is a particular athlete you would like to know more about, an event, news story or issue you think I should follow up, or you have a question about the host venues, then do let me know.

Thanks - and enjoy the Games,


Q. How are the bumps for the mogul skiing made?
Catherine and Rachael Ayres, aged 10 and 6, Rochdale, Lancs

A. BBC's Ski Sunday commentator Matt Chilton tells me for the Olympic moguls, which are being held at Sauze d'Oulx in Italy, these will have been created using a special digger to mould the shapes and they will be up to 4ft high.

As each skier competes they will make a deeper groove in the mogul, making it even bigger.

Moguls naturally formed by skiers are also found at many ski resorts.

Q. What year did curling become an Olympic event?
Treena Pokrzywa, Clarksburg, WV

A. If you had asked me this question last week I would have said 1998 in Nagano, Japan.

But just before these Games the International Olympic Committee confirmed Great Britain should be awarded full medal status for their victory in the 1924 Games - originally they had been given demonstration medals.

So the answer is 1924 - although it was then a demonstration sport in 1932, 1936, 1964, 1988 and 1992 before resuming full medal status in 1998.

Q. On the BBC website, there is talk of StroMotion and SimulCam. I have seen neither yet.

Surely the men's downhill would be perfect for SimulCam and the snowboarding is ideal for StroMotion.
M Lewis, London

A. They have both been used during the highlights programmes, which featured the men's downhill and half-pipe, as it is difficult to use them during live action.

The devices are better for either preview or post-event analysis.

Q. What is the difference between the downhill and super-G?
Sarah Munday, Doncaster

A. Both events are for the speed merchants as opposed to the technical specialists. Downhill is longer and skiers reach the fastest speeds.

Super-G stands for super giant slalom and this combines the speed of the downhill with more precise turns of the giant slalom.

In both races, skiers makes just one run down the course and the fastest time is the winner.

Q: As a daily visitor to the BBC website, I would be pleased if can you explain why the video clips of the Olympics are restricted to UK users only.
Don Dovaston, Belgium

A. The BBC's head of sport Roger Mosey says most sports are sold territory by territory, so we and other UK broadcasters usually have the rights only for the UK.

We do try to acquire rights for global distribution when we can, but often this is too expensive and not something we can justify from the British licence fee - or sometimes other broadcasting deals are in place that prevent it anyway.

Q. Please advise when Zoe Gillings is participating in her snowboarding events.
Rachel Ganly, Isle of Man

A. Zoe is only competing in the snowboard cross and that is being held on Friday, 17 February and will be covered on the BBC of course.

Q. I am trying to find a full list of all countries taking part in the Winter Olympics - have tried many sites. Any ideas please? Thank you
June, Essex

And also, do you have a breakdown as to how many athletes represent each country that are at the Olympics? Or is there a place on the net I could find it?
Anastasia Wilson, Wiltshire UK

A. Hi June and Anastasia, it has been difficult to track a list down but I have found one on the official Turin 2006 site. The url is

For the record, it looks as though there will be 2,633 athletes from 80 nations taking part.

Originally, 84 nations applied to take part but their athletes did not meet the International Olympic Committee qualification criteria.

Q. I noticed Madagascar are represented in this year's Winter Olympics.  What events are their athletes appearing in?
James, Leeds

A. Madagascar are in the Winter Olympics for the first time. They have one athlete called Mathieu Razanakolona.

He's 19 and will compete in the slalom and giant slalom.

Looking at his career statistics, he has only competed in one World Cup slalom and that was in Schladming, Austria, this year.

He was disqualified for straddling a gate so I would be extremely surprised if the Madagascan national anthem is played at the Games.

Q. My question is not about sports, sorry. What was the musical work that the great Pavarotti sang at the opening ceremony?
K Mazurek, Montreal, Canada

A. He sang Nessun Dorma from the Giamcomo Puccini opera Turandot.


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